A man who was held from Kota in Rajasthan for abandoning his toddler son in Gandhinagar in Gujarat had allegedly murdered the infant's mother before fleeing the state, a police official said on Sunday.
The 10-month-old child was found abandoned late Friday night outside a cowshed in Gandhinagar's Pethapur village, and 14 police teams soon zeroed in on his father, Sachin Dikshit, after checking CCTV footage of the vicinity and he was held on Saturday and brought to Ahmedabad on Sunday morning, police said.
"(Mr) Dikshit was married but had a live-in relation with the victim, identified as Menhndi alias Heena Pathani, with whom he had the boy. He first strangled Heena in a Vadodara flat, then abandoned baby Shivansh near the cowshed and fled," Abhay Chudasama, Inspector General of Police (Gandhinagar Range) told reporters.
"The body of the toddler's mother was found packed in a bag in the kitchen of their flat in Vadodara on Sunday. (Mr) Dikshit used to live five days a week with Heena in Vadodara, where he worked, and spent the weekends in his Gandhinagar flat with wife and parents," the IG said.
He met Heena in 2019 when she was working in a showroom in Ahmedabad, and then after a brief separation, reunited and started living in with her after he got a job in Vadodara, with Shivansh being born in 2020, he added.
Two days ago, the couple had a fight after Mr Dikshit said he was going to his native Uttar Pradesh to live with his parents and wife, the official said.
"An argument broke out and he strangled Heena and then packed the body in a bag, leaving it in the kitchen, possibly as he could not muster courage to dispose it of. He abandoned the baby near a cowshed from where he frequently bought milk," he said.
The IG said Mr Dikshit later left for Uttar Pradesh via Rajasthan with his parents and wife but was caught by police en route at Kota after CCTV cameras showed him coming out of his car and abandoning the child near the cowshed.
"The baby is in an orphanage and his DNA samples will be matched with the accused. (Mr) Dikshit, who was arrested on charges of abandoning the baby. will be booked for murder as well. Primarily, it appears the accused's wife did not know anything about his live-in status with Heena," said Mr Chudasama.