MUMBAI: A 55-year-old businessman from Juhu was murdered by an unidentified man who attacked him with a chopper in Andheri (west) around 6 am on Monday. A man wearing a cap and a mask attacked Abdul Munaf Sheikh (photo below) on the neck, back and abdomen outside Irla Jama Masjid Gate at Juhu, located barely 200 metres away from his home on Gulmohar Road.
The attacker has been captured on cameras around the crime spot but is still to be conclusively identified, the police said. Two persons, whom the police identified only as Munna and Nadeem, were detained in the evening. Sources in the police said they are the prime suspects.
Sheikh, who was into real estate and supply of manpower to the Gulf nations, was on his way to the masjid to offer prayers when he was attacked soon after he stepped out of his car. “Sheikh tried to rush towards the gate of his house where he collapsed,” said an officer from Juhu police station. Onlookers had informed the police who took Sheikh to hospital where he was declared dead.
The police said that Sheikh usually stepped out with a posse of security guards around. “But on Monday morning, he went out without the guards,” said an officer.
The police expressed suspicion that Sheikh’s murder is linked to some property dispute. He and his cousin were handling a slum rehabilitation project. Last November, a man was nabbed on suspicion and he confessed he had taken ransom to bump Sheikh off, police said.
Besides handling many slum redevelopment projects, Sheikh’s company has also constructed several buildings in the city, said a police officer.
Sheikh is survived by his wife and two daughters. His cousin Sayad Nasar blamed the police for not heeding to complaints that he (Sheikh) had submitted after the plan to attack him in November. His relative Saleem Baig, a former corporator, also said that Shaikh had complained to the police about danger to his life. “But the police took it lightly,” said Baig.
Sheikh was chairman of Human Resource Company, the manpower supply firm, in Andheri and was the founder and chairman of Al Sofi Group Pvt Ltd. A case of murder has been registered.