On Sunday, a day before 20-year-old Thakur College student Ganesh Sriram was kidnapped and murdered, his brother Ravindra received a call asking for Ganesh's mobile number. The caller had identified himself as Ganesh's classmate.
"The caller said his name was Saurav and he was Ganesh's friend from Kandivli. He asked for Ganesh's number," Ravindra Sriram told HT on Thursday. "I found the call suspicious, but I still gave the number as he claimed to be his friend," he said.
Ravindra said he was busy at work and did not ask the caller how he got the number he had called on.
Ganesh, a second year B-Com student, was allegedly kidnapped and murdered in Naigaon by two of his friends on Monday. After killing him, the two suspects called Ganesh's father Ramchandra, a civil contractor, and demanded Rs8 lakh towards ransom.
They later settled at an amount of Rs3 lakh. However, the two were arrested by police, when they came to collect the money at Jogeshwari railway station.
"We knew Kalpesh and his family for nearly eight years," Ravindra said. "The family needed money and hence my father gave them Rs1 lakh as loan. I am in shock as we never expected this to happen."
He added that the family had taken away Ganesh's mobile phone after his love affair with a 23-year-old girl. "The girl, who was older to Ganesh, had come to our home to say she wanted to marry him. However, we convinced her otherwise and sent her back," Ravindra said.
"Since then, we took away Ganesh's phone. However, he started using another cell phone over the last few weeks to keep in touch with family, as he was living away from us," said Ravindra.