A case - the gruesome murder of a mother and two daughters - that had been puzzling cops in both Kolkata and Mumbai was finally solved after the arrest of Istiaq Shaikh, a resident of Dharavi in Mumbai.Shaikh, a leather factory worker, killed his wife in UP and returned to Kolkata, where the family had been living for some time, to kill both girls in January last year.
It was only when he returned to Dharavi alone that alarm bells went off and he was finally arrested and questioned. During investigations he confessed to orchestrating the murders.
Shaikh (27) was Abida Khatoon’s second husband. Khatoon (40) was a widow living in the same locality in Dharavi with two daughters Sabiya (11) and Aliya (7) from a previous marriage.
Shaikh compelled Khatoon to sell her room in Dharavi for R9 lakh and started living with her in Mum brain Thane. On Khatoon’s insistence, Shaikh promised to take her to his hometown in Uttar Pradesh, but took her and the two girls to Kolkata instead.
“The two got married and settled in a room in Kolkata. Shaikh was married to another woman who was living in his hometown in UP,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, Zone V, Mumbai.
The relationship between Khatoon and Shaikh soured when she persisted in her demand to go to UP. “Shaikh was eyeing Khatoon’s money. He was also worried about taking Khatoon to UP where his first wife lived, unaware of his second marriage,” said a police officer from Dharavi police station.
Shaikh hatched a plan to eliminate Khatoon and her daughters. “He convinced Khatoon that they would go to UP to gauge the reaction of family and left the girls behind in Kolkata with R1500,” added the officer.
Shaikh halted at a place called Laloli in UP. He then told her that they would walk to her residence. “During the night Shaikh strangled her to death in the fields. He then went to his village and left for Kolkata the next day,” said the officer.
On reaching Kolkata, Shaikh spiked some cold drink with rat poison and gave it to the two girls. He locked their door from outside and returned after a while when the two girls had died. He then put the bodies in two different sacks and dumped one near the Park Circus railway station and another under the Dhakuria bridge.
Kolkata Police were left in a tizzy when the bodies of the two girls were found with had no clue to identify them. Shaikh recently moved back to Dharavi.
“A few of his neighbours tipped off us that he has come alone after a long time without Khatoon and his daughters. We suspected that something was amiss and detained him, after which the killings came to light,” the officer said.