A Bandra resident was arrested on Monday for plotting the murder of his wife and watching her being killed by two of his associates. The woman was killed in front of their two children — a three-year-old boy and six-month-old son — in a car at Bandra Reclamation on Sunday night.
Salman Shaikh, 26, a BPO employee, was having an extramarital affair with a girl and had recently married her. He then decided to eliminate Ayesha, 24, his first wife, and offered Rs20,000 to two of his associates — Shaikir Shaikh alias Ela, 20, and Sadiq Mohammad Rafique Khan, 20 — to kill Ayesha.
The police said as per plan, Salman took Ayesha and their children for a drive in their Indigo (MH-02 BD 5058) at Bandra Reclamation on Sunday night. His two associates reached the spot as planned and killed Ayesha.
“Salman was having an affair with a girl named Yasmin who lives at Sakinaka. They got married some months ago. We found a mobile recording in which Yasmin is heard telling Salman that she wants to live with him and would take care of his two sons,” said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police, adding that the three-year-old was awake when the murder took place.
During the interrogation, Salman cooked up a story, saying two motorcycle-borne men stopped their car when they were coming from the Bandra-Worli sea link.
He said he fell unconscious after one of them squeezed his neck. They later strangled Ayesha to death, alleged Salman. The police, however, got suspicious as there were no injury marks on Salman’s body. Neither was there a robbery attempt nor were the children harmed. After sustained pressure from the police, Salman confessed to have planned the murder.
“As per preliminary investigation, it appears that Salman planned to kill Ayesha a few months ago. An unknown person kept calling Ayesha’s father, uncle and grandmother for the past few days, saying someone wanted to kill their son-in-law and daughter. They informed Salman about it, but he did not take the matter seriously. It appears he made someone make the calls and threaten Ayesha’s family,” a police officer told DNA.
Salman and Ayesha got married four years ago and were living in a joint family in Ashiyana building opposite Bandra court.
The police said the murder came to light after the control room received a call informing that two people were killed in a car at Bandra Reclamation. The caller also informed Ayesha’s father about her death. On reaching the spot, the Bandra police saw Ayesha was unconscious. Salman pretended to be unconscious, but woke up immediately and narrated a concocted story. Meanwhile, Ayesha was taken to Bhabha hospital where she was declared dead before admission.
“It is clear that Salman is involved in the murder and he has confessed. His associates who live in the same area have also been arrested. We are checking their call records to ascertain if they informed the control room and Ayesha’s father about the incident,” said Dighavkar.
The police are also trying to establish if the two associates were in the car throughout the journey or whether they reached the spot later.