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Delhi: Man held 17 years after woman’s body found in trunk at Kalkaji flat | Latest News Delhi

A tenant verification form submitted to Delhi Police has helped investigators track and arrest the alleged prime suspect in the murder of a 22-year-old murder in Govindpuri area 17 years after the crime was committed, officers aware of the case said on Tuesday confirming the arrest.

Virender Singh had been evading arrest since the murder was reported on June 7, 2007. (HT Photo)

According to police, Virender Singh — the prime suspect — was 40 when he assaulted the woman and strangled her to death with the help of his employee, Shankar Ghosh. Police said Singh had been evading arrest since the murder was reported on June 7, 2007. The co-accused, Ghosh, however, was arrested within a fortnight of the crime, the investigators said.

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Body found stuffed in trunk

Police said the body of the victim was found in a semi-decomposed state stuffed in a metal trunk at a rented house in Govindpuri. Officers from the crime branch of Delhi Police on Tuesday said they arrested Singh, 57, from his rented accommodation in Vijay Vihar near Rohini on Friday.

“The two accused were part of an immoral trafficking racket. They killed the woman, who was trafficked from West Bengal and sold to Singh for 10,000. Singh killed the woman because she had refused to be a part of a prostitution racket. After the murder, the two stuffed the woman’s body in a metal trunk, locked it, and fled after locking the flat from outside,” deputy commissioner of police (crime) Amit Goel said on Tuesday.

DCP Goel said Singh had been declared a proclaimed offender, and added that the accused’s arrest came about due to persistent efforts of by assistant sub-inspector (ASI), Ramesh Kumar, of the crime branch. The DCP said that Kumar was posted as a beat constable in Govindpuri’s Gali No-13, when the murder took place in a two-room house in the area where he was deployed.

Kumar was one of the first responders to the crime, the DCP said, and was part of the investigating team set up to probe the murder. A case of murder and destruction of evidence with common intention was registered at Kalkaji police station. He stayed on the case till 2009, till Kumar was transferred out of the police station’s jurisdiction, the DCP said. Goel said the sub-inspector was also instrumental in the arrest of Ghosh after the crime.

The crime

DCP Goel said that on June 7, 2007, a property dealer called up the Kalkaji police station, informing the officers that a foul smell was emanating from a locked house that he had rented out to Virender Singh five days ago (June 2, 2007). A police team reached there, broke open the door, and went inside. The police personnel found that the foul stench was coming from a locked metal trunk. They broke the lock and found a semi-decomposed body of a 22-year-old woman stuffed inside, the DCP said.

During the enquiry, the property dealer told police that Singh had approached him on June 2, 2007 for a rented accommodation and paid 3,000 as advance for a two-room ground-floor flat at Govindpuri, Gali Number-13. Singh was supposed to pay the remaining amount the next day. When the dealer contacted Singh for the remainder payment, he informed him that he was out of Delhi and will return in two-three days.

“On June 7, the dealer went to the flat to check on Singh. He notice a foul smell coming out of the room, and informed the local police. The Kalkaji police station’s team arrested Shankar Ghosh, and identified the prime accused as Virender Singh. However, Singh continued to remain at large,” said an investigator.

The arrest

Kumar, who was later promoted as an assistant sub-inspector, told HT that he was also a member of the team that probed the Jigisha Ghosh murder case. He said he was again posted at the Kalkaji police station in 2017, as a head constable. He was assigned to the team entrusted with probing unsolved cases. During the scrutiny of the cases, Kumar learnt that the prime suspect in the Govindpuri case was still at large.

“I started probing the case afresh. I checked the tenant verification form, having a photograph and the permanent residential address of Singh in Bihar. Through technical and manual investigation, I traced Singh’s location in Panipat. We raided his hideout in Panipat but he had fled before police reached there. Then, he switched off his mobile phone,” said Kumar.

In February 2024, Kumar was transferred to the crime branch as an ASI. He was included in the team that looked for proclaimed offenders (POs). Kumar told his supervisory officers – assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Naresh Kumar and inspector Pawan Kumar – about Singh whom he had been tracking for years.

“The team traced Singh’s PAN card details through which they obtained his bank account details. His new mobile number mentioned in the bank details helped the investigators locate Singh’s new location in Vijay Vihar area in Rohini. For three days, the team members spoke to several property dealers, showed them Singh’s photograph to establish his identity. One of them identified Singh, and led the police to the house where Singh had been living as a tenant. He was caught from the area on Friday,” said a senior police officer, who asked not to be named.

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