The district police Wednesday arrested a Chandigarh resident and a Panchkula-based couple for the murder of a 25-year-old Mumbai-based woman. One of the accused was nabbed while he was on his way to dispose of the body of the victim in wee hours Wednesday.
The accused have been identified as Manohar Lal Gupta (36), a resident of Sector 56, Chandigarh; and Rajan (28) and his wife Payal (26), who are residents of Sector 10, Panchkula. The deceased has been identified as Poonam alias Saira Bano.
According to the police, the incident was reported when Gupta was on his way to Zirakpur in his Lancer to dispose of the body.
Gupta was stopped by police at a naka in Sector 19. When questioned, Gupta told police that he was on his way home after purchasing vegetables. However, when the cops opened the boot, they found a sack containing the body.
The accused had tried to cover the sack by placing vegetable packets on it, said a police officer. Gupta has allegedly revealed that he murdered Poonam by strangulating her with the help of Rajan and Payal.
The three have been booked under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender ) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Sector 20 police station, said the police.
According to sources, preliminary investigation has revealed that Poonam was a sex worker and was taken to Rajan’s house by Gupta.
Ajit Singh, Station House Officer of Sector 20 police station, said that Poonam had called Manohar to pick her up from the Sector 10 market and she had accompanied him to Rajan’s house where she was murdered. Singh said that they were investigating the matter.
Dr Sunil Gambhir of General Hospital, Sector 6, told Chandigarh Newsline that there were some injuries on the face of Poonam. The eyes of the deceased had swollen and she was bleeding from the nose. He, however, said that the cause of the death could be ascertained after the post-mortem.
‘Accused was a rape convict’
Police said that Manohar Lal Gupta had remained in jail for 18 months in a case of rape. He was a local transporter and Rajan was working as a driver with him. On Wednesday, the police also conducted a search at Gupta’s house in Sector 56 and found a flight ticket for Mumbai allegedly booked by Poonam. The police said that they also tried contacting the deceased’s sister.