A man and a woman were arrested Sunday for allegedly murdering an 87-year-old woman who had gone missing in Bhachau of Kutch on Friday. The body was found inside a trolley bag in a shop owned by the father of the man.
According to police, the accused — Raju Chhanga (21) and Radhika Chhanga (22), who were relatives and were in a relationship with each other — conspired to kill the elderly woman, pass it off as Radhika’s body, and elope and marry each other as their families would not have accepted their marriage.
The deceased, Jethiben Gala, was a widow and lived alone in Bhachau. Her two sons were settled in Mumbai.
On Friday, one of her sons, Dharamshi, was informed by a neighbour and family friend that his mother had gone missing from her home. Dharamshi soon reached Bhachau and lodged a missing person’s complaint with the police.
As police launched an investigation, they were tipped off about blood “coming out” of a closed shop at a shopping complex in Bhachau. The shop belonged to Raju’s father Ganesh Chhanga. However, Ganesh informed police that he was away and the shop’s key was with his son with whom he could not establish contact. Police then broke the shutter open and found the missing woman’s body inside a blue trolley bag. Later, Dharamshi identified the body as that of his mother.
A case of murder was registered and during the investigation, Raju allegedly admitted to the crime. Since the family members would not have let him get married to Radhika, the two allegedly conspired to kill a woman having a similar physique like her, pass it off as Radhika’s body, and then elope.
The duo zeroed in on Jethiben during their search to find someone similar to Radhika’s physique. They killed her on Friday before hiding the body at Raju’s shop, police were told. However, the body was found before the two could proceed with their plan, police said.
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