Mumbai, Dec 23: The Manikpur police has made little headway in the brutal killing of a Bhojpuri film singer Sanjay Jha (32), whose body was found in a forest in Manikpur, Vasai (W) last week. The autopsy report concluded death due to unnatural causes and the police registered an offence of murder against unidentified assailants.
A resident of Golden Nest, Bhayander (E), Jha was looking forward to the release of an upcoming Bhojpuri film for which he had signed as playback singer and had completed the audio recording. Apart from singing, Jha was also employed as production manager with a garment outlet in Byculla.
Preliminary inquires revealed that Jha was acquainted with a person named Raju Goyal, who had paid him an advance of Rs 22,000 for the movie. However, interrogation with Goyal has not yielded much.
According to close relatives, the family last received a phone call from Jha on the night of December 12. He informed them that he was in the vicinity and would return in a few minutes. However, the family became worried, when he did not turn up even after midnight and both his mobile phones were unreachable. When a search for him turned futile, a missing complaint was lodged with Mira Road police on December 13 night.
While the relatives were still in the police station, the police received a wireless message about an unknown body spotted near a chemical factory in the jungle near Manikpur. The description of the deceased matched with Jha.
One of the cousins Pradeep Thakur, who identified Jha’s body, said that Jha’s head was smashed and valuables, including Rs 27,000 cash, gold bracelet and rings worth Rs 32,000, along with his wallet with ATM, credit cards and mobile phones was missing.
Jha’s father Vinod (52) suspects that the assailants would have been friends whom his son trusted and that they must have killed him after a dispute over the film or money. On the day of his murder, Jha had withdrawn Rs 27,000 from the bank for advance payment for a flat he had booked in Bhiwandi.
Assistant Police Inspector Uttam Jagdale, the investigating officer attached to Manikpur police station, said, “We are working on some clues and are likely to make a headway in the matter soon.”