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Missing woman’s body found in Panipat

PUBLISHED ON NOV 27, 2019 11:28 PM IST

New Delhi The decomposed body of a 20-year-old woman was recovered from bushes on the roadside near Panipat refinery in Haryana on Wednesday. The woman had gone missing 16 days ago. The police said she was allegedly shot dead by her husband and his two associates during a road trip to Panipat.

The woman’s 21-year-old husband, Sahil Chopra, who deals in used cars, and his two employees — Shubham,24, and Badal, 26 — were arrested on Tuesday after they led police to the body. The woman’s family members have alleged that she was killed over dowry demands.

The police have booked them for murder, kidnapping, dowry harassment and criminal breach of trust.

The police said that the woman, identified as Nancy Sharma, had married Chopra in March after courting each other for three years. Even as her family members were unaware of their relationship, the police said.

The couple had been living in west Delhi’s Janakpuri after their marriage.

Additional deputy commissioner of police (west), Sameer Sharma, said that on November 23, the woman’s father, Sanjay Sharma, approached the Janakpuri police and filed a missing person’s complaint. Sharma told the police that his daughter’s mobile phone was switched off since November 11 and her in-laws were not giving any satisfactory response to queries about her whereabouts.

“The woman’s father alleged that her husband had been torturing her for dowry since they got married. The father suspected that something bad had happened to his daughter and held her husband and in-laws responsible,” said the additional DCP.

Sharma said that on November 25, the woman’s husband, Sahil Chopra, also filed a missing person’s complaint at the Paschim Vihar police station. Chopra, in his complaint, told the police that he had an argument with his wife while they were travelling in a car in Paschim Vihar area, when the wife got down from the car and left.

“When she did not return home, he panicked and filed a missing person’s complaint,” an investigator said, adding that Chopra filed the complaint to avoid becoming a suspect. Soon after, he learnt that her parents had already filed a complaint in this regard.

According to the investigator, the needle of suspicion pointed towards Chopra as Nancy’s friend, when visiting her in-laws’ house, got different answers from Chopra’s mother and grandfather regarding their disappearance. Chopra’s mother told Nancy’s friend that the couple had fled home with money and jewellery, while the grandfather told her that the couple had gone to France on a holiday, the police said.

“We interrogated Chopra and his claims about his whereabouts between November 11 and November 25 did not match with his cellphone location. When confronted, Chopra broke down and confessed to having killed his wife with the help of his two associates. All three were arrested,” the additional DCP said.

The trio took the police to an isolated place near the Panipat refinery, from where Nancy’s decomposed body with two gunshot wounds to the head was found. Chopra revealed that he had shot his wife dead after an altercation while they were en route to Panipat, in a car with his two associates. They hid her body behind bushes and returned to Delhi.

“We are yet to recover the car and the pistol used in the crime. Chopra claims that the pistol belonged to his wife and she got it from a friend. We are verifying his claims,” added Sharma.

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