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Nov 14, 2019-Thursday



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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Woman kills lover with help from priest husband, duo burn body in Delhi temple

Delhi police said the plot unfolded when Lakhan Dubey, the priest of Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Gandhi Nagar, discovered that his wife was having an affair with Chandra Shekhar. She agreed to end the relationship and drew the 35-year-old man to a death trap.

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2017 12:31 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times
Lakhan Dubey, the priest of Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Gandhi Nagar planned the murder with his wife.
Lakhan Dubey, the priest of Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Gandhi Nagar planned the murder with his wife. (Photo: Sourced)

A priest and his wife allegedly murdered a 35-year-old man, stored his body on the terrace of a temple for two days before finally setting it ablaze on Wednesday morning in an attempt to conceal the victim’s identity, police said.

The murder came to light when a neighbour alerted the police about fire on the temple terrace and suspected that the strong smell was of burning flesh, police added.

“The murdered man turned out to be the lover of the priest’s wife. When the priest (of the temple) learnt of the extramarital relationship, the woman offered to end the chapter by drawing her lover into a death trap,” said Nupur Prasad, DCP (Shahdara).

The arrested couple has been identified as Lakhan Dubey, the priest of the Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Gandhi Nagar, and his wife. In their early 30s, the couple had been married for the last nine years.

While the priest lived in Delhi, his wife lived in her native village in Mathura until two months ago. “The priest brought his wife to Delhi. Soon, he realised that she was having an affair with Chandra Shekhar, a man from her village,” said the DCP.

“When he confronted her, she first denied any such relationship, but later confessed to it. She then offered to end the relationship by killing Shekhar,” said Prasad.

The plan was that the woman would trick her lover to coming to Delhi on the pretext of meeting each other. “She told Shekhar that her husband was away from Delhi and they could meet at her home,” said the DCP.

But when Shekhar arrived on Sunday night, the woman allegedly tricked him into consuming a heavy dose of sleeping pills on the temple’s terrace. “The woman then stabbed him in his head and the couple together strangulated him to death,” the officer said.

But when it came to disposing the body, the couple found themselves out of options because of high public presence in the daytime. At night, police presence in the area discouraged the couple.

As the body decomposed on the temple terrace and smell began to emanate, desperation set in. “On Wednesday morning, the couple decided to burn the body so that the victim would be unidentified and there would be no way to link the couple to the murder,” said the DCP.

Since there was also a separate and independent entry to the temple terrace, the couple allegedly thought they could mislead the police. “They also broke the lock of the terrace gate to show it as the handiwork of an outsider,” Prasad claimed.

But when the police, alerted by a neighbour, reached the murder spot, they realised it was a “friendly entry” to the terrace and the broken lock was an attempt to mislead the police. “The charred body was still emitting heat when a police team reached there,” said the officer.

Since the body was not entirely burnt, it did not take too much effort to identify the dead man. A subsequent probe revealed the relationship between him and the priest’s wife. “We questioned the couple and they confessed to the murder. They have been arrested,” said the DCP.