Man strangles live-in partner, entombs under marble platform

Man strangles live-in partner, entombs under marble platform

In a grisly incident, a 32-year-old man allegedly strangled his live-in partner, whom he had befriended on social media, and entombed her body under a marble platform at his residence here.

The accused, Udayan Das, was arrested yesterday, over a month after he allegedly killed Akanksha (28). She had told her parents that she was living in the US but they became suspicious after their contact with her was limited to texts from December last year.

The body of the woman, who hailed from Bankura in West Bengal, was exhumed in the wee hours today and it took police six hours to recover it, they said.

The accused allegedly strangled the woman, stuffed the body in an iron box, then put it in a larger box before constructing a marble platform over it to hide the crime.

"West Bengal police have arrested Udyan here on charges of murdering his live-in partner Akanksha alias Shweta Sharma. The accused admitted to killing her in December last year and then burying the body under a marble platform on the first floor of his house," Govindpura City Superintendent of Police Virendra Mishra told PTI today.

"We exhumed the body from under the platform at around 4 AM with the help of drilling machines. It has been sent for post mortem and further interrogation is underway," he said.

The incident came to light yesterday when West Bengal Police arrived here in search of Akanksha following a complaint lodged by her father Shivendra Sharma.

According to police, Udyan had befriended the victim on a social media site. The accused told the police that in a fit of rage he strangulated Akanksha in the last week of December 2016, after they had a dispute over an issue.

"The accused poured in cement inside an iron box after stuffing the body. He then put the box inside a bigger box and again filled cement in it. These boxes were then covered with a marble platform," he said.

Police, however, said the accused has been changing his statements on various aspects, including his relationship with the victim. "Das initially said that he had married Akanksha at the local BHEL Kalibadi temple. Later, he said that he married her in New York. But it was found that he never visited New York. So, we are still in the process of ascertaining the details given by him," an officer at Govindpura police station said. According to police, Udayan claimed that he first met Akanksha in 2007 and remained in contact with her on a social networking site.

He later changed his version, stating that the victim came to live with him in Bhopal after they became friends on Facebook last year, the officer said, adding that Udyan had a lavish lifestyle and used to travel in expensive cars. "We have been verifying details. He would be produced in a court today," the police officer said.

Akanksha's father claimed that his daughter had left home in June 2016 on the pretext of looking for a job. She was in touch with her parents over phone until December last year but since then remained in contact only through text messages.

She told her parents in a message that she was working in the US. Suspecting her activities, the family traced the phone number through which she used to text and found that the number was registered on an address in Saket Nagar here.

Later, they lodged a complaint with Bankura police on January 5. The West Bengal police kept an eye on Udyan's phone records and detained him after reaching Bhopal yesterday. He then spilled the beans during interrogation.

Police said based on Udyan's admission, they started digging the marble platform at his house and recovered the body this morning.

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