Mumbai: 23-year-old confesses to murder that wasn’t, makes police search for runaway wife’s body

A 23-year-old man is learnt to have confessed to a murder that was never committed and even forced the Mumbai Police to search for the ‘body’ of his wife, who left him for another man. According to the police, Mujahid Shah led them on a wild goose chase from Ghatkopar to Daman beach twice in a week to search for his wife’s ‘body’, which he claimed to have dumped there. It was only after a team from the Ghatkopar police went to the Nani Daman beach twice and dug over 25 feet in the scorching heat with the help of JCB machines that they found Shah had lied about murdering his wife.

An officer linked to the probe said the girl resided in Ghatkopar with her parents. Shah, her maternal uncle, had come to live with the family a few years ago. The two fell in love, but the girl’s parents did not approve of the relationship. Shah and the girl fled from their residence in 2015. The girl’s family then approached the Ghatkopar police and got a case of kidnapping registered against Shah.

The police began investigations in the case but could not locate the duo. However, efforts were on to track down Shah with the mobile number he used. Last month, the investigating officer found that Shah had come to Navi Mumbai, and placed him under arrest. “He told us the couple had willingly run away from his sister’s house and had settled down in Daman,” an officer said.

On being asked about his wife, he told officers he had frequent fights with her and during once such fight, had killed her. On further interrogation, he said he had dumped her body at a spot on Nani Daman beach.

Following this, a police team comprising of two officers and three constables went to the spot. With the help of local authorities, it started digging at the spot with the help of a JCB machine. An executive magistrate was present during the search, along with a person video recording the exercise. However, they could not find the body.

Shah then told them he may have got the place wrong, and may have dumped the body at the other end of the beach. A team of four men from the Ghatkopar police now went to the beach located over 150 km away, and dug even deeper, given the amount of time that had passed since the ‘murder’, However, when no body turned up, they suspected something amiss, and made enquiries in Daman around the area that Shah resided. They were told the girl left Shah a year ago, with a man who worked at the same place as her.

“Shah told us that since the girl ran away with him and was now missing, he felt he should take responsibility for her and hence had confessed to killing her. He was remanded in judicial custody last week. We will file a chargesheet against him under Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person),” a senior officer said, adding, “We have some leads on the girl too and should be able to track her down soon.”

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