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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Kirti Vyas murder: No body, but cops file charge sheet with CCTV footage, bloodstains, confession

Mumbai police back case on circumstantial evidence gathered and 50 witness statements.

mumbai Updated: Jul 31, 2018 14:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
28-year-old Kirti Vyas.
28-year-old Kirti Vyas.

The crime branch filed a 962-page charge sheet on Monday in the case of 28-year-old Kirti Vyas’ murder. This is a rare case of a charge sheet being filed despite the body not being found.

Family leaves to perform her last rites
  • The Vyas family is still struggling to cope with the sudden loss of Kirti, the younger of two sisters. “Kirti’s loss was like a storm to our family,” said Shefali Vyas, Kirti’s elder sister. Days after learning of Kirti’s murder, their grandmother passed away too. “We still do not believe that Kirti could have threatened Siddhesh of firing him or exposing their love affair,” said Shefali. “I am sure she would have told me if Siddhesh was threatening her.” The Vyas family left for their home town in Gujarat on Monday, to perform the final rites for Kirti.“We had not done Kirti’s last rites as we hoped her body will be found. But now we are leaving for Gujarat to perform prayers for Kirti and my grandmother,” said Shefali.

The charge sheet includes statements by 50 witnesses, including Vyas’s family, friends and colleagues who saw her getting into the car with the two accused, Siddhesh Tamhankar and Khushi Sahjwani, on March 16. Tamhankar and Sahjwani were colleagues of Vyas’s – all three of them worked for the popular hair salon franchise, BBlunt – and the police believe the two kidnapped Vyas, murdered her and then dumped her body in Wadala creek. In spite of searching for more than a month, the police have not been able to locate Vyas’s body.

According to the accused, Vyas had been critical of Tamhankar’s work and Tamhankar had been given a termination letter, that stated his notice period ended on March 16.

The crime branch’s investigations revealed that Tamhankar and Sahjwani – who is married – were having an affair and Tamhankar has confessed that he wanted to retain his job because he and Sahjwani did not want to be separated.

When Vyas refused to take back her complaint against him to reverse his firing, the police believes the couple decided to kill her. The crime branch believes Vyas knew about Tamhankar and Sahjwani’s affair.

“From the collected evidence and statements and investigations so far, it seems like a pre-planned murder,” said an officer familiar with the case.

In the absence of a body, the crime branch is relying on circumstantial evidence, DNA reports and CCTV recordings of Vyas being picked up by the accused in Sahjwani’s SUV on March 16. “Apart from DNA which was found in blood stains on the car, we also have CCTV recordings and call data records of the accused as well as the mobile tower location of phones belonging to Kirti, Siddhesh and Khushi,” said the officer.

Crime branch officers said that on March 17, Tamhankar and Sahjwani exchanged 50 calls according to their phone records. While helping Vyas’s family in their search, Tamhankar and Sahjwani discussed what they would tell the police when they were called in for questioning.

They were arrested on May 5 on suspicion of having murdered Vyas.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 11:47 IST

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