It has been 54 days after 28-year-old chartered accountant Kirti Vyas was murdered. Except for issuing different theories and dramatic chain of events behind the gut-wrenching murder, it seems that the Crime branch cops are far away to decode the key motive behind the killing. They seem to be involved in beating around the bush in a similar fashion to what was seen in the April 2012 Sheena Bora murder case that took many twists but there’s no conclusion so far.
It appears as the investigative agencies are well aware of the strategies that can hide their failure in a full-scale and credible investigation. In Kirti Vyas missing and murder case, they are trying to be safe from the media interrogation to reveal the real motive and keeping the mainstream news media busy by spreading rumour-mongering stories surrounding the probe.
Senior Advocate Abha Singh said, “In cases where the victim’s body is not found, charges can be framed against the accused and the trial can run. To reveal the real motive behind the murder of Kirti Vyas, a thorough investigation is needed. Women safety is a real concern. Many times, we find feeble probes for such crime cases; the government lacks preventive measures to stop crime against women.”
Vyas, who used to work with a popular Andheri salon as the accounts executive, was reportedly strangled to death on March 16 by two of her colleagues. The two accused Khushi Sahjwani’s (42), the firm’s academic head and Siddhesh Tamhankar (28), Vyas’s subordinate, were arrested on May 5.
According to the Crime branch sources, Vyas was murdered over a professional dispute. Siddhesh Tamhankar’s slackness at work grabbed Vyas’s notice and she slapped him with a non-performance memo in February asking him to show improvement at work or face action. As per an investigative officer, “The notice period was ending on the day the duo kidnapped Kirti Vyas.” The Crime branch sources further informed that Sahjwani was having an extra-marital affair with Tamhankar and she helped him plot the murder.
RTI Activist Anil Galgali expressed, “The police department needs sufficient time to probe a case but a speedy investigation is always necessary. Both the news media and the police have a big role to highlight true facts. It is the responsibility of the investigative officers to dig out the real motive behind the murder. The government has totally failed to install an adequate number of CCTV cameras as promised by them before the election.”
As per the call data record (CDR) of the accused, on the day of the incident, Tamhankar and Sahjwani reached Kirti’s building at MS Ali Road in Grant Road and waited outside for almost 40 minutes. Tamhankar offered lift to Kirti saying he wanted to discuss the notice she had issued to him. Vyas, who was seated next to the driving seat, was strangulated by Tamhankar who was seated in the rear seat while Sahjwani drove the car.
Police arrested the couple after the DNA samples of the bloodstains found inside their car boot matched with that of Vyas’s mother. But with search operations on at the drain near Wadala-Mahul Port Trust Road, no trace of Vyas’s body is found yet. The accused confessed that they had a plan to dispose the body near Kalanagar in Bandra (East) but they gave up the idea as the area was crowded. They moved further towards Wadala and dumped the body.
It’s scary and shocking to sink the fact that it took more than 50 days for the investigative officers to arrest the accused and now they say, “It is possible that the body dumped at the spot almost 52 days ago would have flowed to some other part of the city or may have decomposed.” As per anonymous sources, the faulty CCTV cameras of one particular spot are the reason behind the delay in the probe.
A resident from Bandra expressed her anger saying, “Looking at the crime incidents increasing daily, it feels unsafe even in a city like Mumbai. The police still lack in speeding up with their investigation as it has been almost two months since the missing and murder of Kirti Vyas.”
She further stated, “Investigative officers fail to provide substantial information but deviate citizens’ attention towards gossip stories behind a crime. The government should ensure that CCTVs are functioning properly and they must take steps to maintain them. Otherwise, it seems of no use just how it proved to be in the Kirti Vyas murder case.”
The state is again preparing for next election but the promises of proper maintenance of law and order are yet to be fulfilled. Is the government not answerable to its taxpayers? If the financial capital of India is struggling with dilly-dally investigations, how can the other parts of the country or even rural areas trust the administration?
BJP MP Gopal Shetty stated, “There might be a delay in the Kirti Vyas murder case investigation but there’s no negligence from Mumbai Police’s side in the probe. I am confident that the Mumbai Police will give justice to the victim. BJP government is offering good governance to provide women safety.”
“We agree that the installation of CCTV cameras is not completed yet but the government will accomplish it. The population has increased rapidly; not all crime can be controlled by CCTVs as every crime has different modus operandi. I believe in the efficiency of Mumbai Police,” he added.
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