The Inside Story
It was a deep feeling of guilt while fasting during the holy month of Ramzan that prompted a 26-year-old man to confess to the police that he had killed a colleague eight years ago.

After Mohammed Shafi, who is employed as a driver, recently confessed to the crime to a constable, officials of the crime branch unit 7 arrested him and his three accomplices, including his two former employers.

Shafi told the police that he and Imran Sayyad worked as drivers in a chemical firm owned by Narayan Goenka, 49, and Pawan Droliya, 36.

He reportedly told the officials that in July 2003, they had kidnapped Shatrughana Khamkar, 20, who worked as a cleaner with the firm, fromhis hometown in Mahad taluka in Raigad district, assaulted him and killed him because he had cheated them of Rs25,000.

They had later dumped the body in Kasara Ghat.

Though Khamkar’s family filed a missing person’s complaint with the Mahad police the case was closed as the police did not get any leads.

Crime branch officials said that this year when Shafi was fasting during Ramzan he developed a deep sense of guilt. Muslims who fast during the holy month are required to pray and seek forgiveness for any wrong act committed by them.

Shafi discussed his problem with a friend who advised him to come clean. The friend helped Shafi get in touch with constable Ulhas Naik, who is with the crime branch unit 7.

Naik reportedly passed on the information to his seniors — senior police inspector Sunil Kavalekar and police inspector Vinayak Vast of the crime branch unit 7.

The investigators were initially hesitant to take Shafi’s confession on face value, but when they verified his claim and found Khamkar’s missing person’s record at Mahad police station and subsequent finding of an unidentified body near Kasara, they got cracking.

The crime branch officials called Shafi to their office to get more details into the murder and subsequently arrested him and the co-accused.

“It was very courageous of Shafi to confess to the crime though after eight years. He knows that he may get life imprisonment, but he chose to correct the wrong he had done in the past,” said a crime branch official on condition of anonymity.

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