A 28-year-old man in Uttarakhand allegedly lured his girlfriend to a desolate hilltop, raped her, strangulated her to death and then set her body on fire to wipe out all evidence of the crime.
The gruesome crime was committed on December 30 but came to light only on Sunday after police arrested the man, identified only as Amardeep, and his friend and partner-in-crime Ajay from Purola in Uttarkashi district, around 200 km from capital Dehradun.
The police swung into action after the 23-year-old victim’s brother lodged a missing person report with the Purola police, 20 days after she “disappeared”.
A court in Uttarkashi on Monday remanded the accused in police custody for 14 days.
The accused have been booked for rape, murder and destruction of evidence.
The police said they were working on information that Amardeep committed the crime after being pressured by the woman for marriage.
Uttarkashi superintendent of police JR Joshi said the three rode on the same motorcycle from Purola to Raditop. The two were also carrying a canister of petrol.
“Amardeep took the girl to a nearby hilltop, almost 100 metres high, where he raped her. Thereafter Amardeep called Ajay and the duo strangulated the victim. Later, they sprinkled petrol on the body and burnt it,” Joshi added.
But like all best-laid plans, the accused left a trail in the form of the victim’s cell phone which they sold to a person at August village near Purola.
When the police tracked down the cell phone of the victim, the person revealed that he had purchased the phone from Amardeep.
The two accused were arrested from Purola on Sunday.