Body found, cousin not sure

Body found, cousin not sure

Lucknow: Search teams trawling the waters of the Yamuna found the decomposed body of a woman that Uttarakhand police said could be that of the missing tourist suspected to have been gang-raped before being thrown into the river.


“At 10.30 this morning, we found the decomposed body of a woman from the river’s stretch at Damta,” Jagatram Joshi, senior superintendent of police, Uttarkashi, said.


The tourist, Moumita Das, 27, a Delhi-based Bengali who taught in a school, has been missing since last month from Dehradun where she had gone on a Diwali trip with a friend, Avijeet Paul.


Avijeet’s body was found on October 30, nearly a week after the 25-year-old Bengali from Dum Dum was strangled and pushed off a cliff by the driver of a taxi the friends had hired and three accomplices who have since been arrested.


Police said the four, who were drunk and had raped the woman and killed her and her friend, had confessed.


SSP Joshi said a cousin of Moumita saw the body of the woman but told investigators she was “not sure” if it was of her missing relative. “She said she was only 50-50 sure,” the officer added. “We have now informed the brother of the missing woman. He is likely to arrive here tomorrow.”


The SSP said a 30-member team used motorboats while searching for the missing teacher in the Lakhamanda area, where she was allegedly pushed off a bridge. “The search team has been told about the uncertainty regarding the identity of the women. The search has not been stopped and is continuing,” Joshi said. “All the turns of the river, the bridges and the jungles spread along the banks are being searched.”


The officer said a court yesterday sent the four suspects — cabbie Raju Das and his accomplices, Bablu, Guddu and Kundan, all residents of Tugrauli in Chakrata — to judicial custody.


DIG, Garhwal range, Sanjay Gunjyal said the four had been charged with rape under the penal code’s Section 376, besides murder, abduction and suppression of evidence.


--The Telegraph, Calcutta

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