The victim, Mona, was a brilliant student and a class topper
A married constable of the Delhi Police allegedly killed his former colleague and then carefully spun a complex web of lies to keep the cops and the family away for two years. The plan worked and, in the two years, he led the woman's family to believe she was alive and even made them "speak" with her.
The elaborate plot was finally busted and the constable, who spent years answering PCR calls for the Delhi Police, was caught along with his two accomplices and charged with murder.
Surendra Rana (42), a head constable with the Delhi Police, fell in love with the victim but killed her when she turned him down. Rana's brothers-in-law Rabin (26) and Rajpal (33) helped him hide the body and the crime.
The victim, identified as Mona, joined the Delhi Police as a constable in 2014, two years after Rana. Both were tasked with running the control room, where they got to know each other. Meanwhile, she got a job as a sub-inspector with the UP Police, following which, she quit her job and began preparing for the civil services, or UPSC, from Delhi.
However, according to the police, Surendra kept a tab on Mona even after she quit. When Mona found out, she protested. The two allegedly had an argument on September 8, 2021, after which Surendra took Mona to an isolated place, strangled her, threw her body in a drain, and put stones on it to hide the body.
He then put in motion his elaborate plan, starting with calling Mona's family and telling them she had disappeared with one Arvind. He continued to be in touch with the family and pretended to be looking for her. He even went to the police station with them several times.
In order to show to the family that Mona was alive, he took a woman to get her vaccinated against the coronavirus but managed to procure get the certificate in Mona's name. He made transactions from her bank account to give the impression that Mona was alive and using it. He used her SIM card as well.
At times, he would tell the family that he had information about where Mona was and visited multiple cities across five states with the oblivious family, "looking" for Mona.
This was not enough. Surendra then roped in his brother-in-law Rabin, who spoke to Mona's family pretending to be "Arvind", the made-up character in this intricately serpentine story.
During one of the calls, "Arvind" told Mona's family that the two were in Gurgaon and married. "My family is behind our lives. We are on our way to Punjab and have reached Rohtak. We will come to your place in 10-15 days," he reportedly told the family over the phone. When they asked to speak with Mona, he said she was scared and not in the mood to talk to them.
Rabin would go to hotels across Haryana, in Dehradun, Rishikesh, and Mussoorie allegedly with prostitutes to deceive the police and the victim's family.
"Rabin would deliberately drop the victim's documents at the hotels and call and inform them about them. When the police traced the calls and reached the hotels, the staff would confirm that Mona was there. This led the police to think that the victim did not want to go back to her parents," Ravindra Yadav, Special Commissioner of Police, Crime, said.
The accused had several recorded audio clips of Mona which he would edit and send to her family to make them believe she was alive.
In one of those edited audios, Mona is heard "saying" that she did not want to return home since she knew her mother was angry with her.
When this case finally came to the Crime Branch two months ago, officials began by tracing the number that Rabin used to speak with Mona's family pretending to be Arvind.
"In our investigation, we found the number belonged to Rajpal and after following several leads, unravelled the conspiracy," Mr Yadav said.
The police recovered Mona's skeletal remains from the drain where she was dumped and sent them for DNA profiling to identity her, the officer said.
Mona, who belonged to UP's Bulandshahr, was a brilliant student and a class topper. She had a B.Ed. degree and wanted to be a bureaucrat. Rana, on the other hand, was married and had a 12-year-old son. Sensing that Mona was on her way to becoming a high-ranking officer, Rana began pursuing her. But she saw him as a father figure. Angered by the rejection, the accused allegedly killed Mona and dumped her body in a drain.