Christopher Bhatti (1978-2001) was an associate and driver of the counterfeiter and primary convict in the 2003 Scam Abdul Karim Telgi. Bhatti was murdered by Telgi’s associates in 2001 for taking his money.
Christopher Chenappa Bhatti was born in 1978 (age 23 years; at the time of death). He belonged to Khanapur, Karnataka. According to his father, he was the only educated member of his family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Chennaya Bhatti, and his mother’s name is Saroja. According to Saroja, Chennaya Bhatti initially worked in a paper mill, and after retiring from the job, he worked as a part-time loader, being the only earning member in the family after Christopher’s death. Among his four siblings, Chemaya is his elder brother, who is mentally unstable.
There is not much information about his marital status.
His brother-in-law’s name is Arun Hurli.
Introduction to Telgi and the Alleged Theft
In 2000, Christopher met Abdul Karim Telgi through his brother-in-law, Arun Hurli, who happened to be Telgi’s neighbour. Telgi later offered him a job at his counterfeit stamp paper manufacturing company in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which he accepted. According to sources, Christopher worked as Telgi’s driver as well. As per reports, Christopher, along with Suraj Butki, later misappropriated about Rs. 3 lacs from Telgi’s business and went missing; some sources even claim that Bhatti stole about Rs. 1,80,000 from Telgi’s business and made it look like a robbery before leaving the job. When Telgi came to know that Christopher had taken his money, he made his associates convince Christopher to come to Mumbai to resolve the matter.
Murder and the Investigation
On 27 August 2001, Christopher visited Telgi along with Arun Hurli near the Minoo Manor building in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. Instead of resolving the matter, Telgi’s associates brutally tortured and killed Christopher following which Telgi allegedly placed Christopher’s body in the trunk of his car and dumped it in Mahim Creek. The police found Christopher’s body in the creek the next day, but they couldn’t identify it. A case was then registered at Shahu Nagar Police Station, and Christopher’s clothes and photographs were kept for identification before the body was disposed of. Nine months later, during the 2003 stamp paper scam investigation, Telgi’s associate Sajid revealed the details of Christopher’s murder. Christopher’s murder case was then re-opened and was first investigated by Cuffe Parade police. The case was later transferred to the Mumbai Crime Branch. API Dilip Kamat, who was later arrested for aiding Telgi in the scam, later took charge of Christopher’s murder case. On 27 October 2002, Telgi was arrested in connection with the case, and a chargesheet was filed against him. Further investigation revealed that Christopher had been severely tortured, resulting in a fractured leg and numerous cigarette burn marks. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) then re-examined Christopher’s murder alongside the stamp paper scam case and found that the initial investigation into Christopher’s case was inadequate. Police Inspector Mahabole, in an interview, explained that when there was no evidence to prove that the body found in the creek was Christopher’s, they sought help from a forensic expert at the Kolkata Forensic Science Laboratory. Eventually, DNA from blood on a bandage found on the body was matched with blood discovered at Telgi’s house and car. The same bandage that had been used to tie Christopher’s leg was linked to Telgi’s work. This evidence confirmed that the body was indeed Christopher’s, and he had been killed by Telgi and his associates. On 29 November 2007, the special CBI court convicted Telgi and four of his associates, Sajid Khan, Mohammed Ghaus Shigwe, Maqdum Hussain, and Kalim Bandenawaz, under IPC Section 304 Part II.
- According to Christopher’s mother, he was well-known among his neighbours for playing tabla. As per some sources, he also used to play harmonica at church.
- According to Christopher’s parents, when he worked for Telgi, he used to send them Rs. 2,000 every month for household expenses.
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