The Punjab Police has arrested a 35-year-old woman for allegedly killing her husband and then packing his body into a large suitcase to dump it. The suitcase was found from the couple's luxury BMW car.
The accused, Seerat Kaur, who is closely related to a former Congress legislator, was arrested from Mohali town, 10 km from here, Mohali police officials said on Monday.
Seerat has been booked for the murder of her 40-year-old husband Ekam Singh Dhillon. She allegedly used a 0.9mm pistol to shoot him in the head late on Saturday night.
SP (City) Parminder Singh Bhandal said the deceased’s wife, Seerat, had been arrested and “she had admitted murdering him with the help of her brother and his friend”.
Seerat is the niece of Congress leader Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, the two-time MLA from Sardulgarh who lost in last month’s election.
Seerat was missing from the house when the body was found while the couple’s children, an 11-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter, were present.
Besides Seerat, her mother Jaswinder Kaur, brother Vinay Partap Singh and two other relatives have been booked for murder, causing disappearance of evidence and rioting armed with deadly weapon, Matour SHO BS Pannu said.
The crime was brought to the notice of a PCR team by an auto-rickshaw driver who happened to be in the area at that time. Bloodstains could be seen near the car and on the rear seat on which the bag had been kept, the police said.
According to reports, the auto-rickshaw driver had gone to drop a passenger when he saw two women carrying a bag which seemed to be heavy. They allegedly sought his help in placing the bag in the car. He got suspicious when his hands got stained with blood. He left immediately and informed a PCR vehicle nearby.
The body was sent for postmortem but the autopsy could not be conducted for want of requisite papers.
The police said bloodstains were found on the first floor where the family stayed despite likely efforts to wipe these off. The ground floor was occupied by the owner of the 1-kanal house, who said the couple had rented the accommodation after shifting from Chandigarh 15 days ago.
A .9mm pistol licensed in Seerat’s name was used in the crime. A shot was fired at Ekam, which hit him near the ear and went through, said the SHO.
SP Bhandal said Seerat and her brother planned to throw the bag with the body in a canal. The bag was kept in the BMW but Seerat misplaced the car key and could not drive it away.
The deceased’s father, Jaspal Singh Dhillon, suspected that more than one person was involved in the crime as it was not easy to bring the bag containing the body down from the first floor alone.
Dhillon, who worked in tea estates for 15 years, said Ekam lived separately after he got married about 12 years ago. He said that he lived in Phase VI and Ekam had come to meet him last night and was under a lot of stress. He said his son used to allege that his wife did not allow him to settle down in any business.
His son had set up stone crushers and later ventured into the hotel business. He said Ekam, who had studied till Class VIII at Sherwood College, Nainital, had also worked in a tea estate for about a year.
Darshan Dhillon, brother of the deceased, said his brother cried when he came to meet them last night. He alleged that Ekam’s wife had been putting pressure on him over the past some time to ensure that the family maintained a high-status lifestyle. He alleged that there were bluish marks on the upper part of his brother’s body.
SP Bhandal said Seerat claimed having quarrelled with her husband as “he had come home under the influence of liquor”. However, Darshan denied the charge, claiming that Ekam had not been drinking for the past one year and he was with him till 11 pm on Saturday.
Seerat reportedly told the police that her husband was under stress because he was facing a case in connection with his work earlier as a manager with Punjab Agro. Later, he tried to set up a stone crushing unit which was not successful. Bhandal said other suspects were yet to be arrested.