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Army to initiate action against officer accused of killing Nepalese bar dancer

Sep 13, 2023 04:02 PM IST

The Army said it will initiate action against the officer after the police investigation is completed in the case

The Army on Wednesday said that it will initiate action against a lieutenant colonel, who was arrested on Monday for allegedly murdering a 25-year-old Nepalese bar dancer in Dehradun, after the police investigation is completed in the case.

The Army said the report on the accused officer along with the police charge sheet will be sent to the headquarters. (Representative Image)

Public relations officer (PRO), Defence, Dehradun, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Srivastava, said, “The Army will initiate action against the accused lieutenant colonel under its rules after the police investigation is completed. The report on him along with the police charge sheet will be sent to headquarters. We have assured coordination in the investigation to the police and other law enforcement authorities.”

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Dehradun senior superintendent of police (SSP) DS Kunwar said, “We have already communicated with the Army about the arrest of its officer and what are the charges against him. They (Army) have assured us all sorts of help in the investigation.” He said their investigation into the matter was underway and they were gathering all possible evidence to strengthen the case against the Army officer.

The accused, identified as lieutenant colonel Ramendu Upadhyaya (42), a resident of Panditwari in Dehradun, was posted at Clement Town in Uttarakhand’s capital city. According to police, the body of the woman, identified as Shreya Sharma, who hailed from Kathmandu in Nepal, was found in Raipur area on Sunday. The accused army officer first met the woman at a dance bar in West Bengal’s Siliguri in January 2020 when he was posted there, the SSP said.

Police said their teams involved in the investigation compared the arrival and departure timings of the vehicles passing through the area and found the movement of 18 vehicles suspicious. “One of the cars was found to be registered in the name of Upadhyaya. At the time of incident, his car had taken 42 additional minutes to cover the distance between Maharana Pratap Chowk and Thano Chowk. The police teams tried to reach out to him on his mobile number registered with the transport department but it was found to be switched off. The police teams then reached his house in Panditwari in Dehradun and took him into custody and later arrested him as he confessed to the murder during the strict interrogation,” the SSP said.

He said, “The police officers also found blood stains in Upadhyaya’s car and on his clothes.”

“The two initially became friends and later started staying together in a live-in relationship. When the accused was transferred to Dehradun, he brought her along. However, as the army officer’s wife came to know about the woman, he sent her back to Siliguri,” Kunwar said.

The accused called her back to Dehradun and rented a flat for her in the city, the senior officer said. “After a few days, the victim started insisting him for marriage, which led to frequent fights between them.”

The accused then decided to get rid of her. He took her to a bar on Rajpur Road on Saturday night, the SSP said.

“The accused got the woman drunk and took her towards Thano Road by car. He parked the car in a secluded area in a forest and hit the woman multiple times with a hammer,” Kunwar said.

There were injury marks on the head of the woman, police said.

After she appeared dead, the accused disfigured her face by pouring acid, used as toilet cleaner, in order to make her unrecognisable, Kunwar said. “He then pushed the body out of the car along the road.”

The incident came to light after a local resident informed the Raipur police station in-charge about the woman’s body lying on Thano Road around 7am on Sunday.

A case of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against the accused lieutenant colonel, an officer said, adding that the police have recovered the hammer allegedly used in the crime.

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