Witness to Uzbek dancer’s murder also killed, say Delhi cops

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 21, 2015 01:22 IST
A file photo of Uzbekistani national Naaz. (HT Photo)

Police have unravelled a tangled mystery of two young belly dancers from Uzbekistan ending up dead within days of each other, stuffed in suitcases that were then dumped in far-flung corners of two Indian states and set on fire to cover up one man’s bloody tracks.

The key accused, Gagan, murdered and disposed of 22-year-old Shakhnoza Shukurova two months ago and adopted the same modus operandi about ten days later to eliminate 25-year-old Naaz who was his accomplice in the first crime, Delhi Police officials said.

Gagan was arrested this week, as reported by HT, after Shakhnoza’s charred remains found in a Haryana village were finally identified, revealing a gruesome murder with a whiff of money dispute, professional rivalry and prostitution.

Authorities say Naaz owed Shakhnoza Rs 8 lakh and used Gagan to abduct and murder her on the night of September 24, then disposed of the body in Haryana’s Sonepat district by packing it in a suitcase and burning it.

After police spent days searching for Naaz to arrest her, sources said Gagan revealed during questioning on Thursday that on November 5 he got her drunk, murdered her and got rid of the body in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district by mirroring the first crime to which she was the sole witness.

While some reports have suggested the two women were part of a high-profile sex racket, police have not made any comments on the issue.

When authorities began inquiring about Shakhnoza and even reached Naaz’s residence, Gagan got worried that she could confess and lead the police to him.

“Gagan reportedly took Naaz out on the pretext of a party and then killed her using the same modus operandi he used to murder Shakhnoza,” said an official. “He drove her to Uttar Pradesh and killed her on the way. He then stuffed her body in a bag and set it on fire in a field in Hapur. The local police had registered a case after finding the body.”

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