Wanted for the April 18 murder of his girlfriend's husband and mother-in-law in Sonepat, and 24 hours after he stabbed Chandigarh police inspector to death, dismissed UT constable Basant Singh, alias Bunty, 26, was arrested by the Haryana police from a hotel in Paharganj area of New Delhi in the wee hours of Sunday. His girlfriend Sarita Rani, 23 -- who had fled with him on April 18 and was accompanying him during the Chandigarh stabbing -- was nabbed with him.
Rohtak range inspector general of police (IGP) AK Rao told reporters at Rai that two teams had been sent to catch the duo, who were sent in a day's police remand by a court in Sonepat. The Chandigarh police also got Sarita's production remand for June 13 and are seeking Bunty's remand too.
Sources said the tip-off had come after calls made by Bunty to some residents of his village Gorar (Sonepat) was intercepted.
Bunty was already wanted for the murder of Sarita's husband Sandeep and her mother-in-law Roshni Devi using his official rifle on April 18 at Deepalpur village before taking Sarita with him in a taxi he had hired from Chandigarh. The lover duo wanted to get married but faced social barriers due to them being from the same village and both belonging to the same Jat 'brotherhood'.
And then in the early hours of Saturday, Bunty and Sarita were spotted near the Sector-17 police station in Chandigarh by a two-member patrol team and questioned; Bunty allegedly killed the inspector, Sucha Singh, and injured the home guard-cum-driver, Jatinder Singh, before he and Sarita fled. Rs 1 lakh each had been announced as reward by the Sonepat and Chandigarh police for clues about Bunty.
According to sources, Rs 4 lakh were recovered from Bunty, and his official carbine rifle that he allegedly used in the April 18 Sonepat murder was recovered from the car in which Bunty and Sarita went to Haridwar after that double murder.
THE BUNTY-SARITA TRAIL
After the Sonepat murders, the couple spent their days lavishly, going around Haridwar, Rishikesh, Nainital and Manali and Shimla, said sources in the police. On Friday night, the couple had arrived in Chandigarh from Shimla on a bus around 10.30 pm to board a bus for Delhi to leave for Mumbai further.
While the UT cops are probing why the couple did not leave for Delhi immediately, Sonepat SP Arun Nehra told HT that after the Chandigarh murder the couple took a train for Ambala on Saturday. "From Ambala, they changed the train to reach Delhi. The complete picture will emerge by Monday," Nehra said.
Bunty is said to have told the cops that after spending 5-6 days in , they were on their way to their native village Gorar in Sonepat. "But we are verifying whether he had a hideout and whether someone was giving him shelter," the Sonepat SP said.
Meanwhile, a Delhi constable whom Bunty contacted - which gave the police the arrest tip-off -- has also been detained by Sonepat police, who suspect he could have given the couple protection earlier too.
The Chandigarh police are also verifying if Basant met anyone in the city, and have also taken samples of blood and fingerprints from the Gypsy in which the attacked cops were attacked on Friday night.
There are also questions about the role of Anil, the guard deployed at the district courts complex in Sector 17 near which the stabbing took place around 2.15am. Anil is said to have shied away from using his rifle, while three other guards inside the court complex are also in the quizzing ambit.