The Inside Story
NOIDA: RTI activist Chandra Mohan Sharma, in trying to fake his own death, burned an unsuspecting homeless vagabond alive after he failed to strangle him, police claimed on Monday at the end of his remand period.

After grilling him for two days, the police claimed to have stitched together the sequence of events from Chandra Mohan getting out of the Honda Siel factory — where he worked — at night to him taking a bus to New Delhi railway station to catch a train to Bangalore, where he lived under an assumed identity with a 25-year-old woman from Greater Noida. The woman, Preeti Nagar, was arrested on Saturday as a co-conspirator in the case.

On Monday, the police produced 38-year-old Chandra Mohan at a court in Greater Noida amid tight security. The court remanded him in judicial custody, after which he was taken to the district prison at Luksar in Greater Noida. Chandra Mohan was arrested on Thursday after the police tracked him down in Bangalore.

"We tried to recreate the chronology of events on the night of May 1 when Chandra Mohan was supposed to have 'burned' to death," said Greater Noida SP Brijesh Kumar Singh.

According to the police, officials drove Chandra Mohan from the Honda Siel factory on the Surajpur-Kasna Road to the spot where he killed the vagabond by setting the car on fire and from there to Pari Chowk, from where he caught a bus to the railway station. The police clocked 70 minutes.

"Chandra Mohan told us how he left the factory at 11.10pm, then drove to Ansal Plaza Mall near the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. From there he lured the mentally unsound person, whom he had identified and befriended a few days earlier, into the car by giving him food," said Samarjeet Singh, the investigating officer.

"He drove him to an isolated spot near the Eldeco crossing, where Videsh, Chandra Mohan's brother-in-law, reached on a motorcycle. The two then tried to strangle the man with a belt but he did not die. The duo then tied him with the belt after putting him in the driver's seat, splashed petrol and escaped from one of the rear doors of the car, before burning him alive," Singh said.

Chandra Mohan also left his mobile phone and office keys inside the car to lend a touch of authenticity. The police claimed he revealed where he had thrown the can used to store the petrol, which he allegedly used to burn the mentally unsound victim and his own car. The police recovered the petrol can from between bushes a few meters from the scene of the crime.

Meanwhile, Preeti Nagar has been remanded in judicial custody. The police said they have so far not found any evidence to indicate the involvement of Chandra Mohan's wife Savita. "We have not ruled out her involvement though," Singh said.

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