Mumbai: Why did our son die? Lokhandwala family start probe

Aug 07, 2017, 08:32 IST | Asif Rizvi

Grappling with their loss and fed up with police inaction, kin of 18-year-old Lokhandwala boy, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances start tracing his last days in search for answers

The boy was seen at an idol workshop near his home
The boy was seen at an idol workshop near his home

After going missing on August 1, Lokhandwala resident Shivam Joshi, 18, was found dead under mysterious circumstances, with his body recovered from the sea at Bandra Bandstand. Now, his parents, who say he was happy and couldn't have committed suicide, are seeking answers from the police. But with the authorities yet to put the pieces together, his family has been speaking to the teenager's friends and classmates at Bhavan's College.

Shivam Joshi seen inside the unit of an idol maker close to home
Shivam Joshi seen inside the unit of an idol maker close to home

A finance professional, Shivam's father Santosh told mid-day, "My son was happy in life, he can't commit suicide. We are hoping that the police give us some answers soon."

"Just about a week before his death, I had gifted him a KTM motorcycle, and he had been planning a big birthday surprise for his mother on August 14," he added.

Shivam Joshi
Shivam Joshi

A tense search
According to his father, he went missing on August 1, the day he had visited a Ganesh idol maker in the area to book one for the festival. However, his cellphone was active till midnight. When he didn't return home, the family lodged a missing person complaint with the Oshiwara police on August 2.

Santosh added, "We were tense about his disappearance and began to search for him. His last location was found on Bandra-Worli Sea Link." A police officer said, "We scanned the footage of the CCTV camera at the sea link, but the boy was not spotted on the bridge."

On August 1, Shivam left home around 7.30 am, telling his mother that he was going to college. He returned a few hours later and left shortly after, saying he had some work and would be back in a couple of hours. He went in a taxi.

He was seen entering the premises of the Ganesh idol maker a few metres away from his home in the CCTV camera installed there. Minutes later, he was seen getting into the same taxi and heading south.

"Shivam loved sitting in the front, but that day he sat in the back, which means there was someone with him in the cab, who could tell us what happened," Santosh added.

Murder, accident or suicide?
Shivam had been working part-time in brokering sales of second-hand cars and had been in touch with a couple of dealers from the western suburbs. Preliminary inquiry has revealed that a recent car deal had led to a dispute between him and the seller. At the idol maker's unit, he was seen rushing out after receiving a phone call. The police are probing if the deal had any connection with his death, sources said. The case came to light after the Bandra police was informed about a body floating off Bandstand last week. It was sent to Bhabha hospital, and investigations led officers to the complaint registered with the Oshiwara police.

An officer from Bandra police station said, "We registered an accidental death case after recovering the body and transferred the case to the Oshiwara police. They are probing the reason behind the death." "Prima facie, it appears that the youngster committed suicide," said an officer from Oshiwara police station.

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