The 21-year-old domestic help, accused of murdering the 81-year-old widow of a former journalist with a reputed news agency at her residence in South Delhi, told a court on Wednesday, July 8 that he raped the woman before setting her on fire, which led to her death.
The accused, Neeraj Saki, revealed the truth before a district court. Narrating the entire sequence of events, Saki told the court that he first raped the woman, Rekha Duggal, and later set her ablaze in order to destroy the evidence.
He said he also took away the valuables from the woman's house. During the hearing, police sought custodial interrogation of Saki, a resident of Madhubani in Bihar, saying they have to recover the articles that went missing from the house of the old woman and to quiz the servant about them.
Metropolitan magistrate Anu Aggarwal allowed the contention of the investigators and sent Saki to four days in police custody.
The body of Rekha Duggal was recovered around 9.30pm on Monday from the second-floor flat of her four-storey building in south Delhi's posh Greater Kailash II area.
"Duggal's post-mortem examination report revealed that she was strangulated with a dupatta, beaten up and later set on fire," said a police official.
The official said Saki, who was employed seven months ago at Duggal's home, was arrested just after the incident as circumstantial evidence was against him but the motive was not clear at that time.
Rekha Duggal, whose husband KK Duggal - a journalist with the UNI news agency - died in 2005, was staying on the first floor of her house, which she had gifted to her elder sister residing in the US.
The second floor was gifted to her younger sister while the third and the fourth floors were given on rent to other people.
Duggal hailed from pre-Independence Pakistan's Gujranwala area. She later shifted to Karnal in Haryana.
(With agency inputs)