The Inside Story
A 20-year-old girl, who was allegedly abducted Sunday, was found murdered Monday morning with her body chopped into several parts and pieces thrown some distance apart in the PGI area here. Her family members identified the body Tuesday even as police detained four persons for questioning and suspect that the gruesome killing could be fallout of a one-sided love affair. The girl, a resident of Lucknow, was pursing a degree in law.

According to her father, the girl had left home on Sunday around 1.30 pm to visit a gurdwara but did not return. “Her cellphone was switched off. It was switched on around 6.30 pm and after several unanswered calls, a man called back from the number and told us to come to the Eco Park on VIP Road in Alambagh,” the father said, adding that the person refused to give phone to the girl.

The father said when they reached the Eco Park, the man again called saying that the girl had fallen ill and he had taken her to SGPGI for treatment. “I asked him to admit her to Awadh Hospital on VIP Road crossing or hand her over to me but he did not listen. Later, we tried her number but it was switched off,” he added.

The girl’s body was later found in PGI area Monday. While her legs were found at one place, the torso, chopped into pieces, was found in a sack some distance away. Medical examination revealed that a sharp-edged weapon was used to cut her body and she died of shock and haemorrhage. It did not reveal any sexual assault.

Lucknow SSP Yashasvi Yadav said four persons have been detained and they are being interrogated. “This is a fall out of a love affair. It seems to be an act of a jilted lover. Four suspects are being interrogated and it is possible that some of them could be the killers,” said Yadav, adding they will soon arrest the murderers.

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Lucknow police arrest two youths who hacked Gauri to pieces

In a major breakthrough in the murder of a girl, whose body was found chopped into pieces in Lucknow’s SGPGI area, police have arrested two youths and said they have recovered the victim’s mobile phone as well as a saw used in the crime.

The arrests come a week after Gauri Srivastava (19), a law student, went missing on February 1 after leaving her house in Aminabad area. Her body was found the next day.

Himanshu Prajapati (23) and his friend Anuj Kumar Gautam were arrested late Saturday night, DGP Arvind Kumar Jain said. He said Himanshu had committed the crime. Addressing a news conference, the DGP said Himanshu, whose father works as a sweeper at a hospital, murdered Gauri at his house in Telibagh area under PGI police station on February 1. Police said he was enraged on seeing some photographs and video clips she had exchanged with her male friends on WhatsApp, a mobile messaging application.

The DGP said that a common friend had introduced Gauri to Himanshu one-and-a-half years ago and they had remained in regular contact through WhatsApp only.

“I started liking her,” Himanshu, who is pursuing his B Com through distance programme of Jodhpur National University, reportedly told the police.

According to police, Himanshu picked up Gauri on his motorcycle on the afternoon of February 1 and took her to his house, where he was alone that day as his family had gone to Mumbai. At his home, he checked the girl’s WhatsApp account and saw some photos and messages she had exchanged with other male friends.

“He got enraged and tried to strangle her with his hands. She fell unconscious,” said Jain, adding that the accused then panicked and went out to have liquor with his friend Anuj Gautam.

As Gauri’s family members kept calling on her number, Himanshu, who had her phone, attended a call and told them that he was at the Eco Park. Police said Himanshu later told Gauri’s family that he was taking her to SGPGI as she had fallen ill.

Himanshu then returned to Telibagh and bought a hand saw and three jute bags.

“He cut her body into four pieces and packed her legs, head and hands in three jute bags while putting her torso in a gunny sack. He made several rounds on his bike to dispose the body parts at different places near a canal in SGPGI area,” said Lucknow SSP Yashasvi Yadav.

He said the girl had saved Himashu’s number in her phone under the name ‘Rohit’, and he had saved her number under the name ‘Alok’.

On the autopsy revealing haemorrhage as the cause of death, Jain said: “The accused told us that he found the body warm when he started to cut it. It is possible that she was not dead at that time.”
Regarding the role of Anuj Gautam in the incident, the DGP said his involvement has not been found in the killing but it is suspected that he knew of the crime.

The DGP said that the accused would be taken into remand for further investigation. He said several evidences, including the girl’s mobile phone, jacket and shoes, the saw used to cut her body, and a wiper used to clean the floor, were seized from the accused’s possession. The DGP said the accused would be booked under the National Security Act.

Accused’s Family ‘did not notice anything abnormal’

The family members of Himanshu Prajapati, who was arrested on Sunday for the murder of Gauri Srivastava, said they did not notice anything abnormal in his behaviour in the past four days they spent with him since Wednesday. His elder sister, who did not want to be named, said: “We never noticed anything abnormal in his behaviour. Police came on Saturday around midnight and it was Himanshu who opened the door. Had he done something like this, he would have tried to run away.”

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