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3 days before wedding, man held for killing partner in Jan

Two days ago, Kushwah’s neighbours noticed a foul odour from his one-room house in Sabzi Mandi, close to Ghantaghar. They found the house locked and alerted the landlord.
New Delhi | By Anvit Srivastava
UPDATED ON MAY 10, 2019 07:12 AM IST

It was 28-year-old Santosh Kumar Kushwah’s wedding the coming Sunday and it was to be held in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich. Thursday morning, however, a Delhi Police team arrived at Kushwah’s house in his native village and arrested him for allegedly murdering his “live-in-partner” in north Delhi’s Sabzi Mandi and transferring 5 lakh from her account to his — in January this year.

Two days ago, Kushwah’s neighbours noticed a foul odour from his one-room house in Sabzi Mandi, close to Ghantaghar. They found the house locked and alerted the landlord.

Deputy commissioner of police (North) Nupur Prasad said when the landlord opened the house, they found a body in a trunk, wrapped in a bedsheet, covered with plastic. They then alerted police.

“When they opened the trunk, there was a woman’s tightly wrapped body in it. The body had decomposed badly. We identified her as Nirmala, known to everyone in the locality as Kushwah’s wife,” the DCP said.

Prasad said a case of murder was registered and initial probe revealed that Kushwah was missing. “We verified his antecedents and a raid was conducted at Kushwah’s house in Bahraich. When our team questioned him, he claimed to be unmarried and said he doesn’t know Nirmala. In fact, he said he is getting married on Sunday. His claims were contradicted with our surveillance data and Kushwah finally admitted to having killed the woman,” the officer said.

The DCP said Kushwah told them Nirmala was not his wife. “He said she was 10 years older to him and he knew her since 2009, after her husband died. He said her husband had bought a land for her before his death. Last year, he helped Nirmala sell the land and she got 5 lakh for that,” Prasad said.

She said Kushwah claimed that in January, he had heard Nirmala talking to her brother on phone. “He said Nirmala and her brother were planning to spend the money on their family. On this, Kushwah offered to help the woman and made her sign three cheques for 50,000 which she wanted to transfer to her brother’s account. He changed the amount from 50,000 to 5 lakh and transferred the amount to his account,” the DCP said.

On January 8, 2019, when Nirmala was unwell, Kushwah gave her a concoction of medicines, causing a drug overdose leading to her death, the DCP said.

He told police that he tied the woman’s body tightly and wrapped it in sheets of plastic and cloth. “He then stuffed the body in the trunk and wrapped the trunk in plastic sheet and a bed sheet to mask the odour of decomposing flesh. With the money, he paid his landlord four months’ advance rent and fled to Bahraich. There, he built a house. He then planned to get married and used 35,000 to shop and book a venue and band for the wedding,” the officer said.

Prasad said the post-mortem reports that will confirm how Kushwah killed Nirmala.

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