To mislead investigators, Manoj Bhatt, one of the accused, purchased a packet of condoms and allegedly placed it under the pillow of the couple’s nursing attendant Khushboo Nautiyal after the murders. This was partly the reason the South West district police were busy checking the role of Khushboo’s acquaintances in the first 72 hours. The breakthrough came after the inter-state cell (ISC) of Crime Branch found that the victim Vishnu Mathur’s missing phone was switched on for a minute in Gurgaon on June 23.
A team of ISC then met with the family and started scanning Shashi Mathur’s call details. “Shashi’s daughter then told police that Preeti Sehrawat, the second accused, met her mother recently. They checked her details and found she was staying in Gurgaon,” a senior officer said.
During questioning, Preeti told police that she used to run a restaurant in Gurgaon and was married twice. “She suffered losses and started running a PG, where she met Bhatt in 2016. The two entered into a live-in relationship. Later, she shut the PG and started a restaurant, but again suffered losses. The two then allegedly conspired to murder the couple,” the officer said.
The motorcycle they used to travel to Mathurs’ residence, a diamond ring, gold chain and Rs 86,000 in cash were seized.
“On June 23, she checked into a hotel in Gurgaon and stayed there for two days with Bhatt. They shifted to another hotel Monday from where they were detained. Bhatt was found wearing the couple’s gold chain and diamond ring,” the officer said.
Bhatt had been arrested 10 years ago in connection with his wife’s murder. He spent five years in jail before being acquitted.
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