A man and a woman were arrested Sunday for allegedly murdering an octogenarian who had gone missing in Bhachau of Kutch on November 3. The 87-year-old victim’s body was found inside a trolley bag in a shop owned by the father of the accused man.
According to police, the accused — Raju Chhanga (21) and Radhika Chhanga (22), who were relatives and were in a relationship with each other — conspired to kill the elderly woman, pass it off as the accused woman’s body, and elope and marry each other as their families would not have accepted their marriage.
The deceased, Jethiben Gala, was a widow and used to live alone in Bhachau. Her two sons were settled in Mumbai. On November 3, one of her sons, Dharamshi, was informed by a neighbour and family friend that his mother had gone missing from her home. Dharamshi soon reached Bhachau and lodged a missing persons’s complaint with the police.
As police launched an investigation, they were tipped off about blood “coming out” of a closed shop at a shopping complex in Bhachau. The shop belonged to Raju’s father Ganesh Chhanga. However, Ganesh informed police that he was away and the shop’s key was with his son with whom he could not establish contact.
Following this, the police broke the shutter open and found the lady’s body inside a blue trolley bag. Later, Dharamshi identified the body as that of his mother.
A case of murder was registered and during investigation, Raju allegedly admitted to the crime. Since the family members would not have let him get married to Radhika, the two allegedly conspired to kill a woman having a similar physique as that of her, pass it off as Radhika’s body and then elope.
The duo zeroed in on Jethiben during their search to find someone similar to Radhika’s physique. They killed her on November 3 before hiding the body at Raju’s shop. However, the body was found before the two could act further, police said.