The father of Divya Pahuja, one of the eight accused in the murder of Gurgaon gangster Sandeep Gadoli, claimed Thursday his daughter did not know she was with a gangster in Mumbai when he was shot on February 7. “My daughter’s friends introduced Gadoli to her as Rishav,” said 20-year-old Divya’s father, Ashok Pahuja, a fruit vendor.
Ashok has claimed Divya is missing. His wife, Sonia Pahuja, is also an accused in the case. She is in Haridwar, he claimed. According to the Mumbai Police special investigation team (SIT) which is probing the case, Divya was with Gadoli when he was shot by a Gurgaon Police team, which makes her a “high-risk witness”.
Ashok said Divya worked in an IT company before choosing a career in modelling. He said two people, whom he named as Manish Khurrana and Deepu, came to pick her up around 11 pm on February 4. “Divya frequently used to leave home. On February 4 night, she told us she was going to Jaipur for an assignment. We stopped her as it was late, but she did not listen.” He added Divya often stayed in touch with Khurrana.
Ashok said he came to know of the shooting on February 8, when Divya called. “She told us the man who was introduced to her as Rishav had turned out to be a gangster. She told us that after Jaipur, plans had been made to visit Mumbai,” said Ashok. One of Divya’s post on a social media platform on February 6 states, “Mumbai coming.”
Ashok said Divya told him ‘Rishav’ had come to the room for a few minutes. “She told us there was a knock on the door and when she opened it, a few men entered the room and Gadoli took out a revolver and then firing started from both ends,” he claimed. He said Divya stayed in Mumbai for the next 15 days for the investigation and returned on February 22. “She stayed at home for just two days and was very afraid. She left home on February 24 and doesn’t stay with us anymore.”
Ashok said he had gone to Pataudi police chowk and informed them about Divya. He added he had not lodged any missing complaint. “I just told the police verbally.”
Pataudi chowk sub-inspector Mool Chand said, “We have not received any complaint, orally or in written.”
Divya’s social media account, however, remained active till May 27. In a post on her account that day, the location given was Delhi, where she was shopping with a relative. Divya’s phone has been switched off since then.
A Mumbai police officer privy to the probe said, “Her evidence during trial stage as a witness to what actually transpired when the police team came to the hotel room would be crucial. While we have already recorded her statement before the magistrate, her presence would bolster our case further.”
The officer added Divya was the one who convinced Gadoli to come to the city and kept informing her mother, who in turn informed the raiding team. The officer said investigators would want to question Divya again to get more clarity on the conspiracy to eliminate the gangster.
With inputs from ENS, Mumbai