Updated: July 25, 2021 5:37:47 am
Shortly after midnight on June 5, a few hours after Sweety Patel, 37, and her live-in partner Ajay Desai, a Police Inspector heading the Vadodara rural Special Operations Group (SOG), allegedly had a fight over his legal marriage to another woman, Desai allegedly smothered a sleeping Sweety in their bedroom with their two-year-old son sleeping next to his mother. Desai then took Sweety’s body away and wrapped it in a quilt, waiting for the break of dawn.
He then drove his commando jeep in reverse into the tenement gate and loaded her body into the boot. Desai then called Sweety’s brother to come over to take care of their son as Sweety had “gone missing”. Once the brother-in-law arrived, Desai drove the jeep to an under-construction structure co-owned by Congress leader Kiritsinh Jadeja in Atalia village of Bharuch district and consigned Sweety’s body to flames and returned to Vadodara to be with his legal wife, while also trying to search for a “missing Sweety”. Jadeja was a candidate of the Congress party from Karjan Assembly Constituency in the bypolls in November 2020.
Police said although Jadeja did not accompany Desai to Atalia to dispose of the body, he was allegedly aware that Desai had murdered Sweety and was looking for a place to dispose of the body and offered his land for the same. The police have booked Desai and Jadeja under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 for culpable homicide amounting to murder, 204 for causing disappearance of evidence, and 114 committing the crime in presence of an abettor.
On Saturday, the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch detained Desai and Jadeja for alleged culpable homicide amounting to murder and destruction of evidence, 49 days after the alleged crime took place.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad DCB, Chaitanya Mandlik told this newspaper that following Desai’s last minute refusal to undergo a narco analysis on Thursday, the officers sat him down and counselled him to confess his crime.
“He is a police officer. He knew it was going to be detected. All the evidences were leading to him but we wanted to be sure before making an arrest because we did not want it to be a misunderstanding. We sat him down and explained to him that he will have to face this bad patch as it has happened. It can be done calmly, as he is also aware. He cooperated and we did not have to even interrogate him much,” Mandlik said.
Desai, the investigators said, had planned to bump off Sweety as he was unable to “handle the social pressure” that he was facing due to his relationship with her. Desai and Sweety, who had begun living together in 2016, have a two-year-old son but in 2017, he also legally married an Ahmedabad-based woman, with whom he has a three-year-old daughter. Mandlik said, “It was going on fine for him for the first few years because his wife was based in Ahmedabad and would visit him at their Vadodara residence sometimes and on the rest of the days he stayed with Sweety in Karjan. But about three months ago, his wife shifted to the Vadodara apartment and he was facing the music as Sweety was upset that he had to stay with his wife. She wanted him to divorce his wife and legalise their relationship. His wife, however, was unaware about his relationship with Sweety until the investigation into her missing case began, which is when he confessed to his wife that he had a live-in partner.”
The DCB examined the CCTV footage of the residential colony where the couple lived and noted that Desai had driven his jeep towards his house the morning of June 5, around the time that he told the police Sweety could have gone missing.
“Desai was aware that the CCTV of the colony did not capture the entire gate of his house and one would not be able to tell what he was doing. But we could spot him reverse the jeep at the end, which is not a usual thing he would do. So, it unraveled the conspiracy,” Mandlik said.
The Vadodara District Police, which had first begun investigating into the case, however, had said that it had not found anything suspicious in the house cohabited by the couple or the movements around.
The police are now awaiting the reports of the DNA test conducted on the couple’s son and Sweety’s brother to match with the partially charred bones recovered from the Atalia under-construction building. The DCB, which also found bloodstains in the house, is examining the same. Mandlik said, “We are examining whose blood it is that we found in the house. The reports are awaited. The further investigation in the case will continue with the DCB after we file a case of murder against the two accused at Karjan police station and formally arrest Desai and Jadeja.”
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