Police question Kashmiri trader over murder in Paharganj hotel

A Kashmiri businessman,arrested in connection with the murder of a French woman whose body was found in a Paharganj hotel room last week,has been brought to Delhi from Srinagar and is being questioned by police.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 10, 2012 2:21 am

A Kashmiri businessman,arrested in connection with the murder of a French woman whose body was found in a Paharganj hotel room last week,has been brought to Delhi from Srinagar and is being questioned by police.

Manzoor Ahmed,police said,was giving conflicting statements and an application could be moved in court to extend his three-day police custody.

He had fled to Srinagar after the decomposed body of the woman,identified as Lauren,was found in Room 203 of the Hindustan Guesthouse on Thursday afternoon. Hotel staff alerted police about a foul smell emanating from the room.

Lauren’s body was handed to her family after a post-mortem examination,police said. It is suspected that the woman was strangled but police said they were awaiting confirmation from the post-mortem report.

Ahmed,who was a regular at the hotel and owns a handicrafts shop in Paharganj,is married. He fled from the city to Srinagar and was at a relative’s house to evade arrest. Police tracked him down after questioning his relatives.

Earlier,after they suspected foul play,the hotel staff immediately called Ahmed who had booked the room. He had left the hotel on April 5 morning.

Police said Ahmed told the staff there was a body in the room. When police broke into the room,they found the decomposed body under the bed.

Lauren had checked into the Hare Rama guest house in Paharganj and became friends with Ahmed. A backpacker,she had travelled to Indonesia and Sri Lanka before she arrived in India on March 30. The hotel staff told police that she had not been seen in the hotel since April 1.

Police found empty beer bottles from the room where she was found murdered. “It has emerged that she had gone for dinner with Ahmed to a Paharganj restaurant a few days ago. The motive for the murder is unclear,” an officer said.

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