New Delhi, Nov 17: An Uzbek woman, who went missing from South Extension area here around seven weeks ago, was later found murdered and a 30-year-old man has been arrested in this connection, police said on Monday, Nov 16.
The other accused in the case, identified as another Uzbek woman, who was a close associate of the 28-year-old victim, is still at large, said a senior official.
The man, arrested yesterday from his residence at Kailash Colony in southeast Delhi, has been identified as Gagan alias Gurvinder.
He allegedly misled the police for weeks after he was questioned for the first time, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Southeast range) R S Krishnia.
Gagan and the accused woman, so far identified as one Naaz, allegedly abducted the Uzbek woman on September 24 and strangled her to death in a car.
They drove the vehicle to a village in the outskirts of Samalkha town in Haryana's Panipat district. There they allegedly dumped the body in an open field and set it on fire, said an official privy to the investigation.
The police said that it is suspected to be case of personal rivalry, but did not disclose further details about the motive behind the alleged murder.
The woman, who was living here on a tourist Visa, was residing at a house rented by a friend at south Delhi's Vasant Kunj area.
Initially her friends and relatives assumed that she must have left for somewhere without informing. But when she could not be reached for more than 24 hours and later when her phone was found switched off, the matter was reported to the police on October 26 and a missing complaint was registered, said a senior police official.
In a few days, her mother -- who claimed that she was talking to her daughter over phone when she was abducted -- reported the matter to the police and a case of abduction was registered, said the official.
The Uzbek woman's relatives alleged that the police took a long time to register an FIR regarding the matter. The police, however, maintained that the case was registered as soon as an official complaint alleging abduction was received from the party.
According to the police, they first traced the driver of a cab, which the woman had boarded from outside a hotel at central Delhi's Paharganj area.
The driver told the police that he dropped her at South Extension, where another car was waiting for her. The driver also claimed to have seen one of the occupants in the car waiting for the woman, leading the police to Gagan.
Gagan, who claims to be the owner of a placement agency here, joined the probe and allegedly kept misleading police for days. He disclosed the identity of Naaz, who is aged around 40 years, and claimed that she and the other woman had gone together to somewhere near Samalkha, and he was not with them.
He also claimed that he knew the deceased for several years as she had lived in Delhi on-and-off for the past eight years. The last time, she had come to Delhi looking for work in August and when she could not land a good job, she was about to return by October 2.
When records were checked, it emerged that Haryana Police had found a charred body at a field in a village in the outskirts of Samalkha on September 25 and a case of murder was registered there.
Further investigation revealed that it was the body of a woman, said a senior official. When Gagan was subjected to intensive questioning once again, he confessed to the crime and said that he and Naaz had strangled the woman to death in a car, police said.
Gagan himself drove the car to Samalkha where they dumped the body in a field and set it on fire to hide the victim's identity, said the senior official.
Delhi Police has also not given a clean cheat to the driver and a dedicated team of south district are looking for Naaz.
The motive will be clear only after Naaz is interrogated, said the senior official. Gagan has been arrested under relevant sections of CrPC and he is expected to be taken by Haryana Police by tomorrow, as the murder case against him is registered there, said the official.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police has informed its counterparts in Haryana about the abduction case registered at Kotla Mubarakpur police station in south Delhi in connection with the same matter and the relevant sections shall be added in the existing FIR registered there, said the official.
Police has also resorted to DNA sampling to ensure that the body recovered from the field at Samalkha was that of the missing Uzbek woman. The report of the DNA sampling can be used as a scientific evidence, apart from Gagan's recorded confession, to make the case concrete in the court, said the official.
The family of the woman, whose Visa is reported to be have been extended till November 20, had earlier alleged that some of her associates were trying to force her into human trafficking.
However, these claims were not conformed by the police. A police team has been constituted and it is searching potential whereabouts of Naaz, the official added.