The Inside Story

The innocent-looking Shikha Dubey (23) and Deepu Yadav (24), both post-graduate students at the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya University in the nondescript eastern UP district of Gorakhpur, just wanted to live together. But their macabre act to achieve this end has sent shock waves across the state.

Shikha's father, Ram Prakash Dubey, reported to the police on June 16 that his daughter had gone missing. The following day, the body of a girl was discovered near the Saryu Canal Colony, which was identified as the missing Shikha's.

Ram Prakash then told the police that only Deepu, her university friend, could be behind the murder.

"The face of the body, the policemen showed me had been crushed by a heavy object and the other parts were burnt with cigarettes. There were stab injuries too and one of the eyes had been gouged out. The dead girl, wearing the same salwarkurta in which Shikha had gone missing, appeared to be my daughter," Ram Prakash said.

Interestingly, the postmortem report confirmed that " Shikha was sexually assaulted and then killed". The police then launched a manhunt for Deepu.

On June 18, however, the father realised that something was amiss. " I was somehow not convinced with the way the incidents had played out. So I went to the police and requested them for a second postmortem examination, but it led nowhere," he said.

Gorakhpur DIG Mukesh Shukla said: " Shikha and Deepu got married secretly in Gorakhpur's Budhiya Mai temple on April 18 and wanted to live together. But Shikha didn't want her parents to hunt for her while she lived with Deepu. So, Deepu spent two months searching for a girl whose figure resembled that of Shikha. His friend Sugreev helped him meet Pooja Kumari, a resident of Sonbhadra, who bit the bill.

They paid Pooja Rs 3000 and brought her to Gorakhpur on some pretext for two days. On June 17, they killed and defaced her, put her in Shikha's salwarkurta and Sugreev dumped the body near the Saryu Canal Colony. Then the couple left for Varanasi."

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