The body of Rakhi Bhadra, the 35-year-old domestic help tortured to death by BSP MP Dhananjay Singh's wife Jagriti Singh, has been lying at a mortuary for nearly a week now and none of her family members has come forward to claim it.
The police have learnt the victim had been lured to the capital by a promise of economic independence by an absconding placement agent. But when she moved to the national capital, she had not informed either her son or her husband with whom she had strained relations.
"The estrangement was so deep that she had not called them during the past one year," said a police officer privy to investigations.
The officer said that her son Shahzan claimed they never heard of her after that fateful January morning this year when she packed her belongings at their home in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district.
It was learnt Shahzan told the police that her impoverished family believed she had gone to visit a relative to get away from her second husband, a drunkard, for a while. But a neighbour dispelled this notion when he told them he had seen her boarding a train at the local railway station.
"During questioning Jagriti admitted to having snatched two of Rakhi's mobile phones on the instructions of Dev Kumar, the placement agent who had bought Rakhi and another maid, Meena, to the Singh household," the officer said.
"Dev Ram's instructions weren't unusual. In cases of trafficking such as this, it is natural for the agent to ask a potential employer to stop the victim from getting in touch with the family lest they inform them about the exploitation they are being subjected to," the officer added.
Meanwhile, a police team sent to her residence in West Bengal is yet to get in touch with Rakhi's relatives and is camping outside the padlocked house.
Shahzan, who has been missing since Thursday evening after having interacted with investigators for a brief period at the Chanakyapuri police station, is yet to be traced, with the police claiming that a person of his description had been spotted by a police officer at a railway station last evening.
Rakhi had died on Monday morning of severe bleeding following brutal beating by Jagriti on Sunday night at the MP's South Avenue residence. A minor domestic help, who was also rescued in an injured condition, told the police how the MP's wife routinely subjected her servants to torture.
Jagriti and Dhananjay have been sent to police custody by a court after being booked for murder, attempt to murder, destruction of evidence and atrocities on a juvenile.