The two friends who had kidnapped and murdered a second-year Thakur college student at Naigaon on Monday were looking for an easy way to pay off their debts.
The accused, Kalpesh Soni and Ravindra Yadav, plotted to kidnap 20-year-old Ganesh Sriram so that they could demand a ransom from his father Ramchandra, a civil contractor.
They executed their plans on Monday when Soni called up Sriram and asked him to meet him at Naigaon, claiming he wanted to return
Rs1 lakh which he had borrowed from his father, Ramchandra.
When Sriram met Soni at Naigaon, Yadav was also present. "The duo then allegedly took him to a nearby forest on the pretext that they had to collect the money from someone else. In the forest they smashed his face with a stone. They later disposed of his body in the Naigaon creek," said Patil.
Soni then used Sriram's phone to call up his father. "They told his father they had kidnapped Sriram and asked for Rs 8 lakh if he wanted his son back. The two parties eventually agreed at an amount of Rs 3 lakh," said Patil.
Ramchandra, meanwhile, alerted the Kashimira police, who told him to play along, so they could arrest the accused when they came to collect the ransom amount.
The accused first asked Ramchandra to come to the Mira Road railway station and then kept calling him to different railway stations, which included Dahisar, Borivli, Churchagate, Bandra and ultimately Jogeshwari.
"We had our men in place and as the duo were about to collect the money from Ramchandra at Jogeshwari railway station we arrested them," added Patil. The accused later confessed to the police and told them that the body had been disposed of at the Naigaon creek.
The police found the body in the early hours of Wednesday. The accused, arrested on the charge of murder and kidnapping, were presented before the local court that remanded them to police custody till August 19.
Amit Singh, Ganesh's room partner said: "He would keep to himself. His family stayed at Boisar and he opted to stay here as it was difficult to attend morning college from there. He was a jolly boy."