The Bengaluru police claim to have solved the murder of an IBM employee in the city with the arrest of a 30-year-old software engineer, whom she had met on Facebook a little over a fortnight ago.
Sukhbir Singh, a resident of Ribar village in Palwal, Haryana, was arrested on Thursday for the murder of 31-year-old Kusum Rani. A former employee of Yahoo India and Accenture, Singh had been unemployed since 2013, police said. For a while in 2011, he worked in Bengaluru. Police will be questioning him about his time in the city.
Rani, who was a software engineer, was found murdered at her flat in Mahaveer Kings Apartment in Kadugodi, south-east Bengaluru, on Tuesday.
Additional Commissioner of Police (East Bengaluru) P Harishekaran said Rani and Singh got to know each other over Facebook.
“He sent a friend request to Rani on December 31 and wished her for new year. She accepted his request. Later, they continued to chat on Facebook and exchanged their contact numbers on January 9. They chatted many times after that and he expressed his desire to meet her personally. So, she invited him to her flat. He came on January 19 and, after an altercation over financial issues, killed her with the help of a laptop cord,” the ACP said.
From what police have gathered from questioning Singh and from the CCTV footage at Rani’s apartment complex, he had flown to Bengaluru on Tuesday morning and reached her apartment by 12.15 pm. She came down from her fourth-floor flat to get him, and entered his details in the security register.
A couple of hours later, after lunch, Singh reportedly asked Rani for Rs 50,000. When she refused to give it, he allegedly demanded an air ticket to return to Delhi. When she again declined, he reportedly pushed for at least Rs 6,000, claiming he did not have enough money to return to Delhi.
An altercation followed, during which he allegedly took a laptop cord and strangled Rani.
He reportedly also used a pen to attack her, leaving a deep gash on her left eyebrow and blood stains on his trousers. According to police, he changed into Rani’s trousers and fled the apartment.
The ACP said Singh took along Rani’s debit and credit cards, a bank cheque book and her mobile. “He approached the customer care wing of the bank concerned on her mobile phone and got her PIN. He then withdrew Rs 11,000 in Bengaluru, (flew out to Mumbai) at 10.30 pm that day, and from there boarded another flight for Delhi around 3 am. He reached Delhi early on Wednesday. He withdrew Rs 34,000 there and left for his native village,” Harishekaran said.
Police came to know about Rani’s murder after her roommate Nidhi Sharma returned home from work around 7.30 pm Tuesday. Special teams were formed to track down the killer.
“We analysed the description of the suspect by the security staff, the CCTV footage, the call data record (CDR) of Rani’s mobile and later the CDR of Singh. We also analysed their social media activity and zeroed in on Singh,” Harishekaran said.
A divorcee, Rani moved to Bengaluru around six months ago from Ghaziabad. Police said recently she had also been cheated of Rs 5 lakh by a person whom she had met on a matrimonial site.
Police have ruled out his involvement in the murder.
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