Two people were arrested by Gautam Budh Nagar police on Monday for allegedly strangling a 25-year-old and disposing her body in her own suitcase — so they could steal her two-year-old wedding dresses.
According to police, the dead, Mala Gupta, had married her husband against her family’s wishes two years ago, and lived on the second floor of a building in Greater Noida’s Chipiyana Buzurg village. The two accused — Saurav Diwakar and his wife Ritu — lived on the first floor.
On September 6, the brother and sister-in-law of the victim came to visit the couple — the first time that any of her relatives had visited her after the wedding.
Police said Mala had taken her wedding finery out of her cupboards to show her relatives. The accused, Ritu, spotted the expensive items and told her husband — who police claim has a small income from odd jobs and struggles with a drug problem — about it.
“The next day, when the victim’s husband left for work, she went up to the terrace to dry clothes. That’s when Ritu invited her to her flat on the pretext of having lunch. There, both accused allegedly strangled her with a dupatta and went to her flat. They took two of her suitcases and filled one with lehengas and saris worth lakhs, and the other with the body,” said SHO Bisrakh Anil Kumar Shahi.
“They then took separate autorickshaws and Saurav dropped off the suitcase with her body on a main road in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram. After they were caught, the accused admitted that they had hoped to make it appear as if Mala had left with her suitcases after a fight with her husband,” said Shahi. They also admitted that they attempted to steal her jewellery but were unable to break open the locker, police said.
According to Circle Officer (Greater Noida III) Nishank Sharma, after the crime, the couple moved with their stolen items to Bhim Nagar in Ghaziabad, where Saurav’s brother lives. They were traced because the accused had also stolen the victim’s mobile phone and had switched it on.