It was a witness’ description of Anwar Siddique, the main accused in the kidnap and murder of the 65-year-old Sion scrap dealer, which helped the police crack the case and arrest three others involved.
According to officers of the Mumbai police crime branch, Siddique and Satyanarayan Satwani were in the same business. Siddique had found out about a recent deal Satwani had made and hence decided to plan murder him.
Satwani’s family lives in Jodhpur, while he did not have a permanent address in the city. Before he was murdered, he was living at a community hall in Sion, and it was a staffer at the community hall who had seen him with the four accused, just before he went missing. Based on this staffer’s descriptions, sketches were made.
Siddique, the police said, could be identified easily because of his long hair and involvement in past cases of assault and cheating. Soon after he was identified, officers of the crime branch tracked down his aides — Mithun Pillai, Abid Mahale (both 36 years olds) and Vishal Dugade, 29. The three were then arrested from the outskirts of Mumbai.
The crime branch has learnt the gang had bundled Satwani into a car on June 3, and had taken him to Neral, where he was held captive at Mahale’s residence. He died there while the gang was assaulting him.
The police on Friday found Satwani’s skull and bones at Malshej Ghat in Murbad, where his body had been allegedly disposed of by the killers.
The search operation had lasted a week, and included 12 crime branch officials, the local Tokawade police and a group of 15 tribals. The remains have been sent for a forensic analysis and a DNA test.
“The tests will establish if the bones belong to Satwani,” said a crime branch officer. The accused have been booked for murder and kidnapping, and further investigation is underway.