He thought he wrote the perfect murder script. Married to one and in love with another, it wasn't long before Vajinder Singh decided to end the saga.
Vajinder, working as a manager with a bakery in Sector 35, along with his girlfriend Renu planned the murder of 32-year-old Pooja, who worked as a computer data operator at Khuda Alisher.
On July 13, Vajinder served his wife Suresh Kumari alias Pooja a cold drink laced with some intoxicant and strangled her to death. Later, he burnt her body with the help of his paramour. But, it was the inconsistency in his statements to the police that led to the discovery of his crime.
Claiming a breakthrough in the murder case within three days, the police said they got suspicious of the husband as he fumbled in giving Pooja's whereabouts. The missing report was lodged by the victim's father-in-law Balwinder Pal, a resident of Sector 20, when Pooja failed to return home on July 13 evening. Balwinder works as a draftsman with the irrigation department.
Vajinder told the police that the two of them left for work as usual on July 13 morning. But, the deputy inspector general of police Alok Kumar said the tower locations of their mobile phones belied such statements. The police subjected Vajinder to grilling interrogation on July 14 and July 15, forcing him to admit his crime.
Reproducing the sequence of events from the story narrated by Vajinder, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Naunihal Singh said the accused married Pooja in 2008 after a brief love affair. Pooja had come to the city four years back to pursue B.Tech from Panjab University while Vajinder was doing his hotel management.
The police claimed Vajinder fell out of love with his wife within two years of the marriage. Around two years back, Vajinder met Renu at a pizza joint in Jalandhar, where they worked together for some time and fell in love with her. Subsequently, Renu shifted to Chandigarh and started staying as a paying guest in Sector 20. Vajinder decided to kill Pooja when she refused to divorce him.
Pooja's body was recovered from Meghowal village, around 20 km from Hoshiarpur on Tuesday. The Chandigarh police brought Vajinder along for identification of spot, but he could not take them to the exact place.
After struggling for around three hours, the police reached Renu's residence at Bhagtupur village and took her into custody. Renu knew the area and took the police to the bushes near Nisrala Choe at Meghowal village from where the decomposed body with 20 per cent burns was recovered. The deceased's brother identified the body.
Vajinder's mother blames her son
Shocked at the turn of events, Vajinder Singh's mother Saroj did nothing to hide the contempt for her son for the ghastly act. Saroj said: "Pooja was more of a daughter than my daughter-in-law. Differences do crop up in marriages, but I never thought it would end in such a tragedy."
Wailing, Saroj said had she known of her son's plans, she would have never left Pooja alone. Pooja, whose parents had passed away, was very close to her in-laws.
Too young to comprehend the crime, Rhythm, four-year-old daughter of Pooja, kept asking: "When will mama return. I know you all are crying because mama is not here." Rhythm was then sent away to a relative's place to keep her away from the unfortunate developments.
July 16: Pooja's brother Prem Chand, resident of Rampur Bushahr in Shimla district, told the police that his sister and brother-in-law did not enjoy cordial relations. He said Vajinder used to fight with his sister and accused him of having murdered his sister and disposed of the body. The police registered a case of murder under Section 302 and 201 of IPC.
In constant touch
Both Vajinder and Renu were constantly in touch with each other over the telephone on Monday morning. Over 50 calls were exchanged between the two between the night of July 12 till 11 am on July 13. Police sources said both Vajinder and Renu showed no signs of regret over their action. Even after the missing complaint was lodged, Vajinder visited the police station and pleaded with the cops to search for his wife. In fact, when questioned initially, Renu had feigned ignorance about Pooja's disappearance. The duo told the police that they had thrown Pooja's purse and mobile in a rivulet on the way to eliminate all evidence.