Brijesh Sanghvi, who killed 13-year-old Aditya Ranka and then burnt his body, first made a mess of his finances and then botched up his plan to set them right.
Sanghvi made too many mistakes to have got away with the kidnapping, including using the name Rakesh, his pseudonym while betting on the domestic T20 league matches, while making the ransom call to Aditya's family and referring to the boy by his nickname Chikki, which only an insider could have known.
Police said Sanghvi told them he used to earn Rs. 2 lakh a month from his business in the metal trade and he and his partner in crime, Himanshu Ranka, the victim's cousin, were friends and would party together.
They both made good money and would splurge in night clubs. The two got into the habit of betting and incurred heavy losses, said an officer from VP Road police station.
While they said that they lost around Rs. 30 lakh, police suspect the amount was much more.
According to the police, Sanghvi had not planned to kill Aditya and bought the knife from a village in Raigad district. He had bought a new SIM card to make calls, which the police have seized.
The police said Sanghvi took Aditya in the Honda City and drove him from Byculla to Sion, where he made the ransom call. After getting the boy a burger, he drove to Chembur and from there to Pali-Khalapur area in Raigad district.
“Sanghvi wanted to return from Chembur, but Himanshu told him that the family had approached the police. He panicked and took the car out of the city,” said Rajendra Chavan, senior inspector, VP Road police.
“Sanghvi brought a knife after Himanshu told him the crime branch, CBI and CID were involved. He slit Aditya’s wrist, stopped the car at an isolated spot and pushed the boy into the car’s boot,” said Chavan.
Sanghvi had realised that if the boy returned home alive he would be behind bars.
“He then drove near Amba river between Pali and Khopoli in Raigad district. When he found that the teen was still alive, he stabbed him in the abdomen and chest. When Aditya started to shout for help, Sanghvi knifed him near the neck, banged his head on a stone and again dumped him in the boot,” said Chavan.
After a few minutes, he stopped near the Mumbai-Pune expressway, around 10km from Panvel, where he pulled out the boy’s body and set it on fire.
“He used the dry grass kept there. Sanghvi then returned to Mumbai,” the inspector said.
The police had suspected that an insider was involved after they found that the kidnapper had called on the Ranka family’s landline and referred to Aditya by his nickname.
They started questioning Sanghvi around the time Aditya’s father Jitendra found the boy’s shoes in the car.
“We found fresh blood in the boot. Everything slowly fell into place,” said Chavan.