The Ghaziabad police on Saturday arrested a 48-year-old man for allegedly murdering a mason and passing off the body as his own to hide his identity as he wanted to avoid going back to jail for the murder of his 13-year-old daughter whom he reportedly killed in May 2018.
The man was identified as Sudesh Kumar, a grocey shop owner and a resident of Karawal Nagar in Delhi. Police said his wife Anupama Kumar (38), who facilitated him in executing the murder, was also arrested. The body was later identified to be that of 42-year-old Doman Ravidas, a native of Bihar.
On November 20, Ghaziabad police launched an investigation after they received information that a dead body of a man was lying at a vacant plot in Indirapuri locality in Loni. A police team reached the spot and on frisking the body, they found an Aadhaar Card, which belonged to Kumar. Police said the face was reportedly burnt to hide identity.
When police contacted his family members for identification of the body, Kumar's wife Anupama reached the spot and identified the body as that of her husband in haste.
Iraj Raja, superintendent of police (rural), said, "The police got suspicious on two accounts. First, Anupama identified the body immediately as that of her husband even though the face was defaced. Secondly, it looked like the man's face was burnt to hide his identity and the Aadhaar card was left with the body on purpose. These two factors led the police to suspect that there was some foul play."
Police said while unearthing Kumar's past history, they found he had obtained bail in May from Delhi in connection with the murder of his daughter, who had allegedly eloped with a man. Besides, they also came across CCTV footage near Kumar's house where he could be seen carrying a gunny bag on his bicycle on the night of the murder.
Based on electronic surveillance and local information, police established that Kumar was alive and arrested him when he came to meet his wife on late Friday night.
Following his arrest, Kumar told police he wanted to avoid going back to jail and planned the murder when he found that the deceased mason had body features similar to his. He wanted to project that he was murdered by some unidentified assailants.
"Kumar called the mason to repair the roof of his house. On November 18, he gave the mason his clothes and asked him to wear it next day before coming to work. On the night of November 19, he offered liquor to the mason, which the latter consumed, and murdered him while hitting his head with a heavy log of wood. Thereafter, he packed the body in a gunny bag and carried it to Loni on a bicycle. As per plan, later, his wife identified the body as that of her husband," said Raja.
Police said Kumar allegedly burnt the face of the mason and went into hiding after dumping the body in Loni.
Police registered a case against the couple under sections 302 (murder), 204 (destruction of evidence), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 416 (cheating by personation) of the IPC at Loni Border police station in Ghaziabad.