A day after the body of a man was found inside a refrigerator at his friend’s flat in south Delhi’s Mehrauli, police on Sunday said the absconding accused had been misleading the victim’s family for the last four days. He also allegedly switched off his mobile phone after the victim’s family kept calling him repeatedly, police said.
The dismembered body of the victim, Vipin Chand Joshi, was at the house of his friend, Badal Mandal, on Saturday. Police said several teams are conducting raids in West Bengal to nab Mandal. Additional DCP (south) Chinmoy Biswal said, “Our teams have got crucial leads. We are conducting raids to nab Mandal.”
On October 12, Vipin’s brother lodged a missing person’s complaint with police. During their search, police found that both Joshi and Mandal were absent from work for a couple of days. Both were last seen together near Mandal’s house. Vipin’s brother-in-law, Harish Joshi, said: “Vipin went missing on Monday, but his younger brother, Rajesh Chand Joshi, informed other family members on October 12. He told them that Vipin left home with his mobile phone and ATM card. I later asked him to approach police and register a complaint .”
In his complaint to police, Rajesh said, “I tried calling my brother several times, but his number was not reachable. Then I called Mandal, who used to work with him as bartender at a south Delhi restaurant. Badal told me he was in his village in West Bengal, and had last seen Vipin when he had come to drop him off at Saket Metro station.”
“Mandal misled us by giving vague answers. Later, he switched off his phone. We found something amiss and went to the flat where lived. However, he had moved out from there. We called police, who arrived at the spot. But they left soon after as Mandal no longer lived there. We later met with the staff of the restaurant where he worked and found that Mandal had rented a house in Saidulajab recently. We went to the house to look for Vipin, but found the house locked from the outside. A foul smell was emanating from his home, so we informed police, who broke open the door. Blood was spattered all across the house,” Harish added.
The body, cut into pieces, was found in black plastic bags inside the refrigerator, police said. “His head was found inside the freezer. Mandal used to live in the flat along with his wife and two children. Two weeks ago, he sent them back to his hometown in West Bengal,” the caretaker of building, Chutke Lal, said. Police registered an FIR under IPC Section 302 (murder) and started their investigation.
After questioning locals, police came to know that Mandal suspected his wife was having an affair. “The couple had a fight over this issue. We are verifying the claims,” a senior police officer said.