The alleged prime accused in Munirka double murder case, Arjun Thapa, was arrested from Agra on Tuesday.

His interrogation led to the recovery of the severed head of Sonam, one of the two women whose decapitated body was pulled out from a sewer on the ground floor of a Munirka building on November 25.

Sonam’s head was recovered from another sewer located barely 10 meters away from the building. The head, with scanty skin cover remaining, was stuck inside the vent pipe, police said.

Ironically, the police had searched that sewer twice for the missing head after the recovery of Sonam’s body. But the head could not be recovered, as it was stuck inside the plumbing vent. The police had checked only waste-in and waste-out pipes.

Senior police officers said they initially did not believe Thapa’s claims that he had dumped Sonam’s head in the sewer through its manhole. It was only when Thapa maintained his claim despite sustained interrogation that the police searched the sewer again and found a third duct where the head was stuck.

Thapa’s live-in partner, Mini Sangam aka Neha from Meghalaya, and their cook Jeevan from Nepal, were arrested on December 10 for allegedly killing two freelance spa therapists, Sushma alias Sonam from Assam and Nayesha from Nepal on November 16 and 17.

The fourth accused, Govind, continues to be at large. Police were hunting for the duo in areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh bordering Nepal, after they learnt that their last location was in Nepal.

RP Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (southeastern range), said that Thapa’s arrest was crucial in the case as he was the main conspirator and only he could tell the exact motive behind the two gruesome murders.

A love triangle between Arjun, Neha and Sonam, Arjun’s greed for money, and a possible sex racket merged to make a compelling motive in the murder of Sonam and Nayesha. Arjun owed Rs 3 lakh each to Sonam and Nayesha but was not returning it to them, said police.

Manishi Chandra, additional DCP (south), said that interrogation of Neha and Jeevan revealed that Arjun had hideouts, not only in Delhi but also in other states, where he had associates and facilitators. His cell phone location suggested that he had fled to Nepal.

“But further interrogation of Neha disclosed that Arjun had made categorical plans to return soon and move to a South Indian city from where he could carry out his spa-related facilitation services,” said Chandra.

Arjun’s associates in other states were questioned and it was eventually learnt that he had already arrived in Uttar Pradesh to proceed with the plan to settle in a South Indian city. “We developed the information and Arjun was arrested from near Waterworks Crossing in Agra,” added Chandra.

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