The police said both the accused — Amita Bhatt, 52, and her daughter Dhwani, 30, — were having an affair with Shah and killed him to usurp his Kandivli land worth Rs 17 crore.
On December 12 night, the duo slashed Shah’s wrist to make his death look like suicide and left him bleed and die near Borsad in Anand. They had persuaded Shah, who was on his way to Mumbai, to visit Ahmedabad and give them a ride in his car to Vasna near Borsad, the village of Amita.
Borsad police inspector Ranjitsinh Dabhi said Shah, a native of Banaskantha district in north Gujarat, was found dead on roadside a few yards away from his car on December 12 night. “The 108 emergency service got a call that a man had been killed in an accident. At first glance, we too thought it was a cade of suicide since the veins in his hands were cut,” he said.
However, the autopsy found his death to be a murder. “Doctors said one cannot inflict such deep gash on one's own hand and throat with a blade. The wounds were inflicted by someone else and the victim died of excessive bleeding,” Dabhi said. The call records of Shah showed he was frequently in touch with the women, leading to their arrest from their house in Maninagar, Ahmedabad, last Wednesday. The police said Amita and Dhwani chose a blade since it was easily available and can be hidden.
Shah, a father of four, had met Amita three years ago at a function in a Mumbai college their sons were studying. “Soon they got close to each other and Shah started visiting her in Ahmedabad. He also Dhwani financially to complete her course in fashion designing. But it also led to an intimate relationship between him and Dhwani. Amita gave a mute consent to this in a bid to sustain her middle-class family. But then her avarice go the better of her,” a police official associated with the probe said.
Amita’s husband and son were not about the affair. Six months ago, Dhwani made Shah sign a document conferring her the power of attorney for his Rs 17-crore land in Kandivli near Navi Mumbai.
Anand SSP Rajendra Asari said, “Dhwani has confessed that after she made up her mind to kill Shah, she drew inspiration from crime serials to execute the murder with help of her mother. Before December 12, she had made several bids on Shah’s life but had faltered at the last minute.”