Chandigarh woman’s murder: Diary may hold crucial clues, nine-year-old son still untraced
A day after the decomposing body of a government school teacher was found at her Sector-23 house by the police and her 13-year-old son, police are now searching for a diary that victim Jyoti Rani had confided in her sister about.
As per police, Jyoti had asked her sister in case of “an unfortunate happening with her family” to look for the diary “in the locker”. Police are scanning her bank lockers and wardrobes.
Meanwhile, there is no trace of her husband, the prime suspect, and their 9-year-old son, even as three police teams were sent to Punjab.
The statement of the 13-year-old boy was recorded before the magistrate, in which he reiterated that he was pushed into Neelon canal by his father. The teen, who is now with his paternal grandfather at Fatehgarh Sahib, told the police he was worried about the well-being of his brother.
“My nine-year-old brother was sleeping on the back seat of the car when I last saw him,” he told the police and has been enquiring about his sibling time and again.
PUSHED INTO CANAL, LEFT FOR DEAD
It was his birthday on September 15 and his father Mandeep Singh, 42, had told him that they will be celebrating his birthday at the gurdwara when they left the city a day prior.
Mandeep had driven the two brothers to Ludhiana after telling them their mother had contracted Covid-19 and had to be isolated. He had then drugged the boys and pushed his elder son into the Neelon canal late that night.
“I shouted for help but there was no one around. After flowing along the stream for some distance, I managed to catch hold of a tree branch,” he told the police.
The child was rescued on September 15 on his birthday by some people at Gurdwara Katana Sahib and police were informed.
The murder of 40-year-old Jyoti Rani came to light on September 16 when the Ludhiana police came knocking at her Chandigarh house to drop her son. Ranis decomposed body was found wrapped in a blanket on a blood-stained bed at her government accommodation.
WELL-BEING OF CHILD PRIORITY: POLICE
“The well-being of the nine-year-old is our priority. Police teams are raiding different places in Punjab and Chandigarh to trace Mandeep Singh and his younger son,” said Ram Rattan, the station house officer (SHO) of Sector 17 police station, Chandigarh.
As per police, on September 14 before leaving the city with the children, Mandeep paid Rs 10,000 towards a monthly kitty (committee) to a colleague in Sector 35. His mobile phone’s last location was recorded in Sector 40 on September 15 and was since switched off.
He had got fuel filled from a pump opposite ISBT-43 and then again from another petrol pump on September 15, before driving towards Kharar. He had used his debit card to make the payments. The police have secured the CCTV footage of the pumps.
The registration number of the vehicle has been shared with Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh police departments.
Mandeep is a teacher at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, while Jyoti taught social science at the government school in Karsan, Ram Darbar.
Mandeep is facing a case under Sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.