Uttarkahand police on Thursday recovered the body of a 27-year-old Delhi woman, who was raped and killed along with her friend by a taxi driver and his accomplices in the state during the Diwali holidays, officials said.
The couple, who lived in south Delhi's Lado Sarai, had left for Uttarakhand on October 21 and went missing two days later. The police informed the couple's families that they had been robbed and killed near the state capital Dehradun on Monday.
The police suspect the couple was killed on October 23.
Four men — cab driver Raju Das, Bablu, Guddu and Kundan — have been arrested in connection with the case.
The woman's body was recovered from Damta hill suburb of Naugaon block of Uttarkashi district about 115 kilometers from Dehradun.
Police confirmed the body was recovered on Thursday morning within an hour after a 15-member team of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) began its search operation.
"We have recovered the body of the victim from Yamuna river stream at Damta following a massive hunt launched by our team of SDRF sent to Uttarkashi on Wednesday evening. It was trapped between the two rocks under the flowing water on the river bank. The body has been handed over to Uttarakashi Police for further action and legal proceedings," SDRF commandant P Renuka Devi told Hindustan Times.
According to Devi, a joint search operation was started at around 8am on Thursday by Uttarkashi Police and SDRF experts who carried rafts and other requisite equipment to brace through the water stream at higher reach of the river.
SDRF was called in after the local police failed to recover the body on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Uttarkashi superintendent of police said though the identity of the body is almost ascertained, the police wants to be fully assured which will be possible only after victim's parents reach Uttarkashi and identify it.
In case her parents, who have been informed about the recovery of the body, fail to identify the body a DNA test will be the only option to establish the fact, Joshi added.
Meanwhile a team of forensic experts has been rushed to Uttarkashi for further investigation.
The body of her 24-year-old friend, a painter from Kolkata, was found in Purola in Uttarkashi district that abuts Dehradun.
According to the police, the couple was returning to Dehradun from the popular Tiger Falls in a taxi when three men, who claimed to be friends of the driver, joined them.
After a distance, the men asked the couple to step out. They robbed them, raped the woman and then killed them.