24 Mar : The Delhi Police on Tuesday claimed to have cracked two sensational murder cases of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan and a call centre executive Jigisha Ghosh with the arrest of four persons.
Claiming that robbery was the motive behind both the murders, which took place within a span of six months, police on Tuesday said though the accused were arrested in connection with Ghosh’s murder, the further interrogation led the team to also crack the six-month-old case of Viswanathan’s murder.
Acting on a tip-off, police caught four persons — Ravi Kapoor, Amit Kumar Shukla, Baljeet Malik and Vijay Kumar –on Monday while they were passing through Nelson Mandela Marg, where Viswanathan was murdered.
"Four persons have been arrested in connection with both the murders. One is still absconding," Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal told reporters at New Delhi on Tuesday.
Giving the chronological sequence of both the murders, he described the victims as "suitable targets" saying while Ghosh was talking over phone on her way back home, Viswanathan was driving alone very late in the night and the intention of these people was to rob both of them.
However, in Ghosh’s case, they suspected that she might identify them later and therefore, strangled her.And in Viswanathan’s case, since they could not stop her, Kapoor allegedly shot at her in a bid to stall the vehicle and rob her.
In Ghosh’s case, the gang saw her moving towards the CPWD flats talking over phone and they thought she could be targeted.Kapoor and Baljeet went near her and on the pretext of asking her directions, they allegedly overpowered her and took her inside the car.
While they were travelling in the car, police said, they allegedly threatened her and made her reveal the PIN numbers of her ATM card.The gang allegedly withdrew Rs 20,000 from State Bank of Patiala in Mahipalpur, Rs 5,000 from another ATM and headed towards Surajkhund in Haryana.
"The gang feared that Ghosh will identify themselves later if she was let off and so they smothered her inside the car and threw her body near Faridabad," Dadwal said.
The gang, meanwhile, spent the money and used the credit card for buying expensive shoes, LCD television and a costly watch besides clothes.However, this led to their identification as their images were captured by CCTV installed at these shops.
While the image of three persons were captured, Kapoor allegedly put his hands on the camera to evade detection.One of the accused was identified by a beat constable which led to the arrest of the four persons after receiving a specific input.
During searches of the car the accused were travelling in, police claimed they recovered a hologram of a judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, wireless sets, badges of media persons and fire-arms.
"In course of investigations, it came to light that Viswanathan’s murder was also carried out by them," Dadwal said.
Police recovered a country-made pistol, which investigators claimed was used to fire at the news producer.
"We have recovered the empty shells. We have sent the pistol and other things for forensic examinations," he said.
Dadwal said the gang spotted Viswanathan driving on a desolate street on a moderate speed while they were near PVR Priya. "She was heading towards her home and the gang had a party at Amit’s place where they consumed alcohol.
"Kapoor told them to chase her. The gang asked her to stop the vehicle which she refused to. The gang chased her and on the Nelson Mandela Marg, near her home, they came parallel with her car and Kapoor allegedly fired at her," Dadwal said.
The gang panicked after seeing her in a pool of blood and fled from the scene, he said.
Asked what was the motive behind the murder of Viswanathan, he said he did not want to speculate.
"They have no rationale explanation to offer. Criminals are not sane people. It seems that the gang wanted to rob her and they panicked after finding her unconscious," Dadwal said.
When questioned what evidence police have against the accused with regard to Viswanathan’s case, the top official expressed confidence that they have a water-tight case.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal said the markings on the pistol will not change even with passage of time and the forensic examinations will prove if the bullet fired at Viswanathan was actually fired from the recovered pistol.
"We have also tallied the sequence, their travels after the murder. Their description of Viswanthan’s body also matched with that of the description by four persons who first saw the body of the victim," he said.
He said, it seems that they were "rattled" by the turn of events so they did not rob her as planned.
Asked why they kept the pistol, which was used in the commission of crime as it would be a crucial evidence if caught, Dhaliwal said it could be used to fire repeatedly besides being expensive.