Sex, money and jealousy: Tattoos unlock mystery of spa murders in Delhi

Friend identifies headless Munirka victim from body art. Police has suspected money and sexual jealousy behind killings.

Two little tattoos helped Delhi Police piece together a double murder after hacked-up bodies of two masseuses from a Munirka spa were found days apart last month.

Cops arrested two of the accused on Saturday after investigations indicated that the crimes were prompted by greed and sexual jealousy as the women were likely also involved in sex trade.

According to authorities, four people murdered Assam native Sushma Rai, alias Sonam, carved up her body into pieces using khukuris and choppers, then wrapped the remains in a polythene bag and dumped it outside Baba Gang Nath Marg in south Delhi. The killers were afraid that the victim's roommate Nayesha, who's from Nepal, could talk to the police about Sushma. So they killed and mutilated the other woman in a similar manner and dumped the pieces of her beheaded body at separate locations in Munirka.

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

The victims apparently deposited some money with one of the alleged perpetrators who was refusing to return it. Of the four accused, one is the husband of one of the women. He is still absconding, police said. "A tattoo near the lower portion of Sushma's torso and another of three stars engraved on the right wrist were preserved by investigators and her friend identified them," said RP Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (southeast range), Delhi.

Cops went through her call records to zero in on the people she was most frequently in contact with over the days preceding her death. A witness led the police to the deceased's place of stay. They found that the two bodies were discovered only about 500 metres apart.

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"During a search of the deceased's rented room, police had not unearthed any clues like blood stains there," Upadhyay said. "We noticed that another lady had also been missing for the past 10-11 days. This appeared to be connected with the first body found in the Munirka drain. The second one was identified by the deceased's friend as Nayesha."

Further probe revealed that both victims were spa workers with roots in Nepal and were linked to a group of people that knew them from their country of nativity and was engaged in providing logistical and financial support to similarly placed Nepalese nationals who come to India for better economic prospects.

This syndicate comprise three men identified as Jeevan, Govind and Arjun. It was also learnt that the group had rented several accommodations in south Delhi. The examination of several landlords of these dwellings revealed that the trio had left Munirka village in the evening of November 25.

"We have corroborated these sequences of events on technical parameters and it became imperative to carry out a profiling of the suspects," Upadhyay said. "Thorough search of rented accommodations used by the suspects was undertaken along with forensic experts. In this exercise, in one of the accommodations, bloodstained clothes were found. The place where the second body was discovered was found to be less than 50 metres away."

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Investigations and searches for the absconding suspects also brought into focus a woman identified as Mini Sangam, alias Neha, who's a native of Shillong. She was reportedly in a close relationship with Arjun and was apparently a foster mother to his kids. Officials made the first breakthrough on December 9, when they arrested Jeevan from the Anand Vihar interstate bus terminal. He was about to escape to Nepal.

Jeevan told cops that he, Govind and Arjun killed the two victims while Mini Sangam was the instigator and a co-conspirator. The deceased were in contact with Govind, Arjun and Jeevan for the past six to eight months and deposited large sums of money with Arjun that the women had been earned at the spa. Both Sushma and Nayesha were demanding their money back repeatedly but Arjun was refusing to comply. He had married Sushma a day after Karva Chauth to avoid paying up.

The marriage made Mini jealous and she decided to eliminate Sushma at any cost. Several conspiracies were hatched over the following days and finally late on November 16 Sushma was brutally murdered, beheaded and dumped in a sewer.

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