The body of a woman, who went missing on Saturday, was found in a drain on Rajpura Road near Shambhu barrier in Haryana on Sunday evening after the police questioned one of her friends, who said she had died of drug overdose.
The police arrested Rajat Beniwal, a Panjab University student; Kamal Singh, a dhaba owner; and Dilpreet, also a student, all of whom allegedly consumed heroin along with Manisha Singh (20), daughter of Sector 22 Nukkar Dhaba owner Joginder Singh, on Saturday evening. The police are looking for Jinder, a drug peddler of Mohali.
Rajat told the police that they panicked when Manisha died. They put her body in his car, drove to an isolated place near Shambhu border, and dumped the body in a drain. The others corroborated the story, the police said.
The three have been booked on the charges of criminal conspiracy, causing disappearance of evidence, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and kidnapping.
The police are waiting for the post-mortem report, which will show whether the story narrated by the accused is correct.
According to her family, Manisha left her residence in Sector 22 on Saturday morning for an institute in Sector 34 where she was pursuing a course in architecture. She didn’t return in the evening, and did not respond to phone calls either. The family then went to the police and a case of kidnapping was registered.
The police said during investigation, one of Manisha’s friends reported having seen her with Rajat in his Honda Brio car on Saturday. The police tracked him down to a health centre in Sector 22.
During questioning, Rajat told the police that he, Manisha, another friend Kamal, and Dilpreet, with whom Manisha was in a relationship, were consuming heroin inside his car in Mohali when Manisha died, apparently due to drug overdose.
The police found Manisha’s body from the place identified by Rajat. Kamal was arrested from his residence in Sector 56 and Dilpreet from phase 10 in Mohali.
“The call record of Manisha’s phone showed that she had been in contact with Rajat on the day of her disappearance. The tower data showed location of their mobile phones at the place where the body was found,” said Inspector Jasbir Singh, SHO of the Sector 17 police station.
Rajat, a resident of Sector 51, is a student of the Evening College at Panjab University, Kamal runs a dhabha in Sector 37-D and Dilpreet is studying interior designing.
A police official said the case was similar to that of Radhika Vashist, who died due to drug overdose at PGI on December 18, 2012. Radhika was left at PGI by her friends after she had fits and fell unconscious. In post-mortem, heroin and beer, a deadly combination, were found in her body. Her friends Gagandeep and Saurav are facing trial.