In a development that could potentially make the case against the Ashok Vihar 'honour' killers stronger, the Northwest Delhi Police have managed to recover the pistol that was used to commit the murders.
The police recovered the weapon, allegedly used by the three accused, from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The police had taken accused Ankit Khari (22), Mandeep Nagar (23) and Nakul Khari (21) to Uttarakhand to recover the weapon.
The accused had told police that they had thrown the pistol in River Ganga after killing Ankit's sister Monica and her husband Kuldeep. They allegedly also killed Shobha, Mandeep's sister.
According to senior advocates, the recovery of the weapon will make the case stronger as earlier almost all the evidence against the three accused was circumstantial.
Senior High Court Advocate V.K. Ohri said, "If the weapon recovered is actually the one used to kill the three, then the prosecution will have solid evidence against them. This will help in nailing the three accused."
In a related development, the fourth accused of the case, identified as Rakesh Singh, surrendered before the police in Ghaziabad's Dadri area on Tuesday.
He is suspected to have provided shelter to the three main accused while on run. With this, the number of people held in the triple murder has gone up to four.
A Delhi police team, which was interrogating the three accused, took them to the area on Monday. The three accused had escaped to Uttarakhand and were moving around in Dehradun, Rishikesh and Mussoorie but were finally arrested by the Ghaziabad police on June 23 in the Garh Mukteshwar area.
Investigators are reconstructing the chain of events that led to the murder of the three victims.
"Their questioning is on to ascertain their involvement. We have taken their fingerprints to match them with those lifted from the residence and a car in which Shobha was found dead on June 22 morning," said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to media.
The police are also examining phone records to establish the movement of the three accused before and after the murders.