Seven weeks after the body of a woman was found partially buried in the sand on the coast near Mundra in Kutch, police have detained her 17-year-old daughter, and arrested a man who allegedly had an affair with the woman and her daughter, and the man’s friend in the murder case. The three accused allegedly killed the woman as she was opposed to her daughter’s affair with the man, police said.
Mundra Marine police arrested Yogesh Jotiyana (37) and his friend Naran Jogi (35) and detained the woman’s teen daughter on Wednesday after detaining them from a village on the outskirts of Bhuj, the district headquarters of Kutch. The arrest of the three accused came two hours after Mundra Marine police booked them under IPC sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention) after the woman’s husband filed a complaint.
Police found a decomposed body, partially buried in sand along the shore in the Hamiramora village of Mundra taluka of Kutch, on July 13.
As her body was decomposed, police couldn’t initially ascertain her identity. A forensic postmortem also could not highlight any primary reason for her death.
The woman’s husband, a mason, filed a missing person’s report with the local police near Bhuj on August 1, stating his wife had remained untraceable since July 10. The husband told police that his two step-children had told him on the night of July 10 that their mother had gone to the Anjar town in Kutch to meet her sister and that the efforts to find her since then had remained futile.
While the officials at the police station near Bhuj were busy tracing the 38-year-old missing woman, Mundra Marine police station was trying to ascertain the identity of the woman found dead on the seashore.
The trail of evidence led police to the doorsteps of Jotiyana and Jogi. Both live in the same village as the woman. “The area from where the victim’s body was found is an isolated place known to locals only. Therefore, we suspected that someone familiar with the place could have played a role in the crime. The mobile location of the accused suggested their presence in the area. When we questioned them as to what they were doing there, they confessed to the crime, saying they had killed the woman by hitting her with a stone in the head,” police sub-inspector (PSI) VA Jadeja, in-charge of Mundra Marine police station, told The Indian Express, adding that Jogi is married to a woman from Hamiramora village and he was new in the village.
She came in contact with a mason while working on construction sites in Kutch. She married him around nine years ago and they lived together with her daughter and the youngest son while her two elder sons continued to live with their father. However, around a year ago, the woman, while working as a labourer, came in contact with Jotiyana, also a labourer.
Police said the victim and Jotiyana, who is also married and has children, were involved in an extra-marital affair. Jotiyana started frequenting the victim’s residence after the relationship, police were told. When her husband opposed Jotiyana’s visits, the woman resisted.
Police said that the victim’s daughter also worked with Jotiyana as a labourer. “Around five months ago, Jotiyana entangled my daughter in an affair. My daughter started longing for his company. I brought this to the notice of my wife but she was not ready to believe it…. However, around two months ago, my wife also started suspecting it. So she told her not to go to work with Jotiyana. As my daughter was not able to meet the man, she and my wife started fighting often. So, I started apprehending that Jotiyana and my daughter will harm my wife,” the FIR quotes the mason as having stated in his complaint.
Police said that on the basis of clothes found on the shore, the mason identified it to be her wife’s. Jotiyana asked the woman to accompany him on a trip on July 10, police said, and took her to Mundra in his friend Jogi’s car. There, the duo murdered her, police said. “The teen daughter was also part of the criminal conspiracy to murder her mother,” PSI Jadeja said, adding, “After committing the murder, the teenager started living with her aunt in their village and the two men also started leading a normal life as if nothing had happened. They were under the impression that their crime was a closed chapter now,” the PSI added.
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