The Lambra police on Monday cracked the case of a 17-year-old girl missing from Kohala village, 13 km from the district headquarters, after a 22-year-old youth confessed to having killed her and buried her body in the fields on December 22.
The trigger: Accused Rajbir Singh Raja, who was reportedly in relations with victim Sandeep Kaur for the past two years, suspected that she had an affair with another youth of the same village.
With his hands shackled, Raja exhumed Sandeep’s decomposed body in the presence of the administrative and police officials on Monday. Later, the body was sent to the civil hospital for its postmortem.
Talking to mediapersons at the crime spot, Raja said that two days before killing Sandeep, who studied in Class 11 at the local government school, he had received information about her alleged relations with another youth.
“Initially I asked her not to talk to me, but on December 22, I called her up after seeing her missed call and we decided to meet here,” said Raja, who works as a tubewell mechanic.
Raja alleged Sandeep reached the spot around 7pm and started pressuring him for marriage. “In a fit of rage, I hit her on the head with a brick and later strangulated her to death,” said the accused, adding that he dug a shallow grave using a hoe and buried the body, before returning home.
Station house officer (SHO) Sukhpal Singh said the girl’s family had filed a missing person complaint on December 25, following which a case of kidnapping was registered, as she was a minor.
Earlier, cops rounded up another youth on basis of information given by the family, but upon interrogation he was found to be innocent. Later, police took Raja into their custody on scanning the victim’s call details. He confessed to the crime during quizzing, said the SHO.
The SHO along with Kartarpur deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Arvind Puri, tehsildar Mandeep Singh, village sarpanch Gian Singh Bhatti and several villagers was present when the accused dug out the body.
The postmortem will be conducted on Tuesday before handing over the body to the family, said the SHO, adding that the accused’s remand will be sought to recover the equipment used for digging the grave.