Mumbai, Feb 6 (Mid-Day): It’s 12.30 am. A man, his wife and their two tots are travelling in their car on Reclamation Road. Suddenly, a bike appears out of nowhere, zips past them and blocks the way. Two men get off and force their way into the car.
While one of them strangulates the woman with a rope, the other tries to suffocate her husband with a piece of cloth. However, as the woman dies, the attackers decide to flee. Sufficiently recovered, the husband dials 100. Within a few minutes, cops reach the spot and escort the family to a nearby hospital. While the woman is declared dead, the husband survives with minor injuries to the neck.
Most people who hear this spine-tingling tale would sympathise with the husband, Salman Shaikh, and deem him fortunate for having lived to tell it. As it happens, he is now in police custody for getting his wife murdered at the hands of hired killers. In reality, Salman had forced his spouse, Ayesha (23), to accompany him on a drive late on Sunday night. Their two kids a three-year-old and a six-month old also came along. On the way Salman picked up two associates, Mohammad Shakir Ghulam (23) and Mohammad Sadiq (21).
They were on Reclamation Road when one of the killers asphyxiated Ayesha, while the other left some marks on Salman’s throat, to make it seem like he had been attacked too. The assassins then left the scene. Loopholes galore When cops started questioning him, Salman claimed that the duo came on a bike, killed his wife and also tried to murder him with the intention of robbery. However, the attackers did not loot anything. The police did not buy this narrative.
DCP Pratap Dighavkar said, “Salman did not try to defend his wife and this raised suspicions. He and his kids have no major injuries. He was not able to give convincing answers and by the end we were sure that he was behind his wife’s murder.” He added, “We later managed to catch hold of the two assassins, who are from Bandra (East).”
Meanwhile, cops have found a video on Salman’s mobile phone where he is speaking to a woman named Jasmine and asks her whether she loves him and if she would live with him despite his marriage. The girl answers in the affirmative and says she is even prepared to take care of the kids. Police say they would question the woman too.
As soon as cops called Salman’s younger brother Samran, he accused his brother of killing Ayesha. Samran said, “I had doubts about my brother. That night he had compelled his wife to go with him. He had also been seen with two taporis from the area over the last few days. As soon as cops said Ayesha was murdered, I went into the neighbourhood and caught hold of the duo and handed them over to the police. They later confessed that my brother had hired them. Salman was planning to kill Ayesha for the last ten days. She was like my mother. He killed her in front of the kids.”
Cops said that the three-year-old child told them that two men were sitting in the backseat of the car and they hit his mother. Salman’s lie was nailed, as he had claimed that the duo had come on a bike. Dighavkar said, “It is not possible for a bike to stop a car on Reclamation Road. Cars are driven at over 80 kmph there. We have arrested Salman and the two killers.”
Ayesha’s mother said that someone had been calling them over the last three days saying that their daughter was in danger. “Salman had not been behaving well with her, but she would not tell us anything. I am sure that he was harassing her. I have lost my daughter, and I want him to be hanged.”
Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil said, “The assassins were paid Rs 10,000 each to kill the woman. We are investigating to find out if anyone else is involved in the crime.” Meanwhile, during interrogation the assassins claimed they had told Salman not to kill his wife, as she was a good person. But, they said he wanted all his problems to be over.