A yellow ‘dupatta’ helps police solve a two-year-old blind murder in Patiala

The Patiala police arrested a transgender from Sarsawa in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, late on Thursday in connection with a two-year-old murder case.

The case was reopened after police had managed to trace the source of a yellow dupatta, which was the only item found alongside a body. After receiving video clips of a birthday party from an anonymous source through WhatsApp, police identified the victim and the accused.

Curious case

On December 30, 2016, a trunk was fished out of Ghaggar river. The residents of Lachhru Khurd village had alerted the police about it.

Police had found a body and a yellow dupatta inside the trunk. However, they had failed to identify the deceased or crack the case as there was hardly any evidence to provide a lead.

Around 15-days after the incident, the victim was identified as Kewal Singh, 29, who had gone missing from his house as per a complaint lodged by his family.

A resident of Adarsh Nagar, in Patiala Kewal was an artiste by profession and used to perform with transgenders to earn a living.

“A close scrutiny of the video revealed that Kewal was dancing with a transgender, Rita Mahant. The video shows Rita wearing the same yellow dupatta that was found with the body,” said SHO Ragbir Singh.

“The video also shows Rita leaving with Kewal mid-party and returning alone after some time. Her dupatta was also missing.This triggered suspicion,” the SHO added.

“During probe, we had found that on the day of his death, Kewal had attended a friend’s birthday party in Patiala,” he said. “Prior to this, a cheating case was also registered against Rita,” the SHO said.

An evasive accused, and a secret probe

“We got an arrest warrant for Rita, but she went missing. After this, we pretended to have closed the case to lure her out, and a secret investigation was carried out to nab her,” he further stated.

Police managed to locate her at Sarsawa in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh and nabbed her on Thursday. During interrogation, she confessed to the crime.

“Rita admitted that she had murdered Kewal with two other accomplices as he had roped in another transgender to run the business,” the cop said.

“She further added that he was demanding bifurcation of their operating areas to avoid loss in business and undue competition,” the SHO said.

However, Mahanat wanted to operate in the entire area and hence hatched the conspiracy to murder Kewal.

She called him to a birthday party where her sister Kajal Mahant and Jaspreet Singh alias Jass helped her kill him, the cop added.

“They used the dupatta to cover the body and placed the body in a trunk before throwing it into Ghaggar river,” the SHO said.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 12:08 IST

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