The driver of a car linked to an app-based taxi aggregator service in Bengaluru has been arrested by the city police for the July 31 murder of a young model and event manager from Kolkata while she was being transported to the Bengaluru airport.
The cab driver, identified as H M Nagesh (22), took advantage of the fact that the victim Pooja Singh Dey (30) used the cab privately in the early hours of July 31 after initially using the taxi linked to the Ola Cabs aggregator service through a regular booking the previous day.
The Bengaluru police have stated that the cab driver murdered the model-turned-event manager in an attempt to rob her after driving her off the route to the airport where she was scheduled to catch a flight in the early hours.
The body of the victim was discovered three weeks ago on a property beside an isolated village road in the Bagalur police limits near the vicinity of the Bengaluru international airport by locals with no evidence of her identity other than the clothes she was wearing.
The Bagalur police were able to initially surmise the place of origin of the victim as West Bengal by using clues like the place of purchase of clothes and a ring that was on her finger. The identity was established after the police came across a missing person complaint filed in the New Town police station in Kolkata.
"The pictures of the person reported as missing in the Kolkata police station matched with that of the unidentified woman whose body was found in the Bagalur police limits," a police official in Bengaluru said.
The establishment of the victim’s identity through the missing person report filed by her husband in Kolkata led the police to the details of her mobile phone and email where it was found that Pooja Singh Dey had booked an Ola Cab the night before her murder.
When police tracked down the cab driver H M Nagesh, they found that he had not done trips for the cab aggregator after the night where he dropped Pooja Singh Dey from a central Bengaluru location to a lodge where she was staying in southeast Bengaluru.
Under sustained interrogation, the cab driver admitted that he had picked up the victim at around 4 am on July 31 after she called him and requested him to drop her to the airport to catch an early morning flight, police officials said.
"The victim Pooja Singh Dey came on work to Bengaluru a few days earlier. Her email id showed that she had travelled in an Ola Cab. The driver of the cab was detained on grounds of suspicion and during interrogation, he revealed that the victim had engaged his cab to go to the airport and that he killed her enroute while trying to rob her," a police statement said.
The cab driver was a resident of north Bengaluru and was driving a car owned by his older brother, police said.