A day after a 20-year-old woman resident of Sector 22 went missing under mysterious circumstances, her body was found at a rivulet near Shambhu Barrier at Rajpura on Sunday evening.
The police have arrested three youths — Rajat Beniwal, 21, resident of Sector 51, Kamal Singh, 31, of Sector 56, and Dilpreet, 23, of Phase 10, SAS Nagar — for allegedly throwing the victim into the rivulet.
With police considering various theories behind the woman’s death, the body has been sent for autopsy to determine if she died of drug overdose or drowning.
Manisha, 20, a resident of Sector 22, went missing on Saturday night, following which her father Joginder Singh, owner of an eatery in Sector 22, informed the police on Sunday.
After registering a missing person complaint, the police traced the woman’s mobile phone to SAS Nagar, and on checking her call records found that she had exchanged several calls with Rajat, Kamal and Dilpreet. The police then traced Rajat and Kamal’s mo-bile phones and nabbed the former from the health centre in Sector 22.
Police claimed that during interrogation, Rajat confessed that he and his two friends had on Saturday evening picked up Manisha in an SUV registered in the name of his mother, a banker. The four of them went towards SAS Nagar to have dinner and later bought heroin from a supplier, who the police are trying to identify.
The police added that after sniffing the drug, Manisha fainted, putting the three youths in tizzy, following which they drove towards Rajpura and threw her into a rivulet after tying her hands and wrapping her up in a blanket.
The trio has been booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 365 (kidnapping), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Sector-17 police station.
While Rajat and Kamal were on Monday sent to one-day police custody, Dilpreet, who was arrested on Monday, will be produced in court on Tuesday.
Rajat is pursuing graduation from Panjab University, while Kamal is a school dropout. Dilpreet is enrolled in the same beauty course that Manisha was doing from a Sector-34 institute.
Manisha was good friends with Dilpreet, and it was through him that she came in contact with Rajat and Kamal.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family claimed their daughter never consumed drugs. A board of doctors has been constituted to conduct the postmortem at Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector-16, on Monday.