Couple arrested after 5 months for killing, stuffing Ghaziabad woman’s body in suitcase

Mala Gupta’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Loni, Ghaziabad on April 10 and police investigation suggests that she was killed on April 7.

Updated: Sep 11, 2018 12:17:39

By Tanmayee Tyagi

Mala Gupta’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase and abandoned. (HT Photo )

A married couple was arrested by the Bisrakh police on Monday morning for the alleged murder of a 25-year-old woman in April, whose body was stuffed in a suitcase and recovered from Loni, Ghaziabad. The victim’s mobile was recovered from the accused couple.

Mala Gupta’s body was found on April 10 and police investigation suggests that she was killed on April 7.

According to the police, Mala’s husband Shivam Pawar had filed a missing persons report on April 7. Later, her family had accused Shivam and his family of orchestrating her disappearance. They alleged that Mala was a victim of dowry torture. However, Shivam was cleared of the crime after initial investigation.

The police revealed that the accused -Saurabh Divakar and his wife Ritu - kept Mala’s phone with them and were nabbed after the phone was traced back to them. It had been off since the murder, but was switched back on yesterday, the police said.

“Their movements at the time of the crime were traced and that is what pointed us towards them during the investigation. They had been living in Ghaziabad for the past few days and were arrested there. Mala’s phone and some of her clothes were recovered from them,” senior superintendent of police Ajay Pal Sharma said.

The police said that the duo has confessed to the murder. According to their statement, Mala’s relatives had visited her on April 6. “She was showing some of her jewellery, sarees and other expensive clothes to her relatives. The accused woman, Ritu, was also present at the time,” the SSP said, adding that Ritu and her husband Saurabh Divakar lived on the second floor of the building in Haibatpur, while Mala and her husband lived on the first floor.

The accused were after the victim’s valuables, the police said. On April 7, when Mala went up to the terrace to dry her clothes, Saurabh strangled her with a dupatta. His wife went downstairs and collected the expensive clothes and jewellery, which the duo packed in sacks and suitcases.

“They stuffed Mala’s body in another, larger suitcase. Then they booked a tempo and went to Ghaziabad, where they left the suitcase. The suitcase was found two days later and the body was recovered,” Sharma said.

Mala and her husband had been married for nearly six months at the time of the murder. The couple had been living in the house for nearly two months. Mala used to work as a teacher prior to her wedding and Shivam works in a mall in Noida.

The accused, Saurabh, is a drug addict who does not have a steady job, while his wife Ritu is a home maker, the police said.

The victim’s family has alleged that goods worth nearly Rs 4 lakh have not been recovered yet.

“All the jewellery that was taken, as well as a lot of Mala’s expensive sarees and our woollen clothes have not been recovered,” Shivam said.

“Saurabh and his wife had moved out of this house almost a month ago. They had been in contact with me since April. Saurabh had even asked me to lend him some money sometime back, which I had refused to do,” Shivam said.

The duo was produced before a magistrate and later sent to jail.

First Published: Sep 11, 2018 12:17:39


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