More than a week after Divya Pahuja, 27, was shot dead in a Gurugram hotel room, one of the men who allegedly disposed of her body was detained at the Kolkata airport, police officers aware of the matter said on Thursday, adding that a police team was currently en route to the West Bengal capital to formally arrest him.
The development comes a day after the Gurugram police issued look-out circulars (LOCs) against Balraj Gill and Ravi Bandra — the two men who allegedly disposed of the body — and offered rewards for information leading to their arrest. Pahuja’s body, however, remains missing.
Pahuja, an accused in the alleged fake encounter of dreaded gangster Sandeep Gadoli, was out on bail after spending seven years in prison when she was killed on January 2. Police said she was allegedly blackmailing Abhijeet Singh, a hotel owner in the city, who purportedly shot her dead at one of his properties. Police arrested Singh and three others in connection with the case.
On Thursday, police said that Gill, a resident of Panchkula, was trying to board a flight at Kolkata when he was detained by security personnel.
Assistant commissioner of police (crime) Varun Kumar Dahiya said they had received specific input about Gill’s movement, following which they alerted the Kolkata police. “Besides, Central Industrial Security force and Airports Authority of India officials at Kolkata airport were also alerted, following which Gill was detained before he could board a flight. A Gurugram police team is on the way to Kolkata to arrest him,” Dahiya said.
The ACP said that Gill will be produced before a court in Kolkata on Friday for a transit remand, following which he will be brought to Gurugram to know where he and Banga dumped Pahuja’s body.
“Once our Gurugram police team reaches Kolkata, it will become clear where he was trying to fly. However, Gill could not have flown abroad as he did not have his passport with him,” Dahiya said.
The officer said that Banga is yet to be arrested. “His last known location was also in Kolkata,” he said.
Pahuja’s murder came to light after her family, unable to contact her, approached the police suspecting foul play. Subsequently, a police team reached Singh’s hotel on Tuesday night, found bloodstains, and then accessed CCTV footage which showed two men dragging a body wrapped in a bed sheet and loading it on to a blue BMW sedan.
Singh, and his employees Hemraj (who goes by a single name), 28, and Om Prakash, 23 were arrested the same day, while Megha Phogat, 20 — who allegedly disposed of the murder weapon and Pahuja’s belongings, including the victim’s iPhone — was arrested on January 8.
ACP Dahiya said efforts are on to recover the gun and Pahuja’s belongings, which Phogat allegedly dumped at different locations in Gurugram.