The Santacruz police on Wednesday arrested a second suspect, 46-year-old Sukhlal Singh, over the August 28 murder of Santacruz businessman Tilakraj Rajput. Singh was arrested for destroying evidence – specifically, Rajput’s mobile phone.
The police had earlier arrested Rajput’s lover, 26-year-old Purity Pascal, alias Ronita, a receptionist from Juhu. Pascal allegedly strangled Rajput with her dupatta inside his Mahendra XUV on SV Road at Santacruz (west).
Senior police inspector Shantanu Pawar said, “Singh was arrested under sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen an offender) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. He destroyed evidence and we are questioning him to get more facts.”
Singh lives with his family in Juhu and drives a tourist vehicle. His son was admitted to a Juhu hospital around a year ago, when Pascal worked there. She helped Singh get his son admitted to the hospital, said a police officer.
The police said that after killing Rajput, Pascal stole his mobile phone but did not take Rs10,000 in cash that was in his pocket. She then telephoned Singh, handed him the phone and told him to destroy it. As instructed, Singh threw Rajput’s mobile in a nullah near his home, the police said.
“After checking Pascal’s call records we brought Singh to the police station and questioned him. We searched for the missing mobile phone for a day but could not find it. It would have been a crucial piece of evidence,” said a police officer, who did not wish to be named.
According to the police, Pascal killed Rajput as he was unwilling to end their six-year extramarital affair. On August 28, Rajput was drunk when he met Pascal at Santacruz. They sat in the second-row seats of his SUV and argued for a while before she allegedly strangled him in fit of rage. Pascal’s husband told the police he was unaware of her affair with Rajput.