A man was arrested on Friday in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh for killing his live-in partner, earlier reported missing from Bankura in West Bengal.
The body of 28-year-old Akanksha Sharma, was found buried inside the accused 32-year-old Udayan Das’ home. She was allegedly killed in December last year. “It took us seven hours to recover the body”, said a police officer. “The accused had placed her body inside a steel trunk, poured cement and then constructed a marble platform over it, which was his praying area too.”
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The body was identified by the victim’s brother. Police dug the body out based on Das’ alleged confession.
Police said Das has changed his statements often, first claiming that he entombed her in December, and later insisting that he did so at least five months ago. Das claimed he first met Akanksha in 2007 over social media, saying he was an IIT graduate and had planned to move to the United States (US).
CSP Veerendra Mishra said Das had dropped out of IIT after he could not clear his first semester and had a part-time job in Delhi with the United Nations (UN). Akanksha, who police claimed to be an engineering student, told her parents in Bankura about getting a job in the US.
“On 31 June 2016, she left home. He parents thought she was to fly to US from Delhi,” said Sukhendu Hira, Bankura SP. “After that, her parents received only WhatsApp messages but otherwise, could not get in touch with her. She had not called anyone and no one could confirm where she was. In December, her father registered a missing person complaint.”
Her phone records showed that she had been to Delhi, and later, Bhopal. Her passport details revealed that she had not left the country.
“The matter had now become serious and on January 5, a case of kidnapping was registered and we began our investigations,” said Hira. Her parents knew of Das and shared it with the police. With the help of local police, a West Bengal Police team managed to locate his house in Saket Nagar. “The windows were sealed with cellotape. We found Das there and on being questioned for hours, he confessed to his crime and showed the police where he had buried the body,” said Hira.
Das, reportedly, told police that the victim came to live with him in Bhopal. According to neighbours, Das introduced Akanksha as his wife. They claim to have rarely seen her after the initial introduction.
The alleged killer was handed over to the WB police on a transit remand on Friday.
The accused allegedly suspected Akanksha of having a relationship with another person and fought with her regularly. He is alleged to have confessed to having strangulated her in anger.
“Her family tried calling on her over phone but the line would always get disconnected. The victim’s father messaged her to return home. He even got a reply asking him to receive her at the airport. Later he got another text which said she had missed the flight. We suspect Das was messaging from her number all the while after he killed her,” said a police officer.
With Milind Ghatwai in Bhopal