In a gruesome act, a 32-year-old man in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, not only killed his live-in partner, but also buried the body in the first floor of his house and then made an altar over it. But cops sniffed their way into his house after the parents of the deceased girl smelt a rat. Later, on interrogation, the accused told the police that he murdered his parents also. According to police, Udayan Das, a resident of Saket Nagar in Govindpura police station area, befriended a girl from West Bengal, Akanksha alias Sweta Sharma, 28, and brought her to Bhopal. The duo then lived together and after a dispute he killed her in a fit of rage in the last week of December 2016. He then buried the body on the first floor of his house, made an altar over it and slept on top of it.
The accused, according to neighbours, lived a lavish life and no neighbour has even seen any of his kin come to the house. The Govindpura police unfolded the murder mystery after the Bengal police reached the city, acting on a missing person’s complaint lodged by one Devendra Sharma, a resident of Bankura in West Bengal. According to the father of the deceased girl, Akanksha had left home in June 2016 to seek a job. Till December, she sometimes talked to her parents over phone, but that stopped and she only kept texting them. When her kin asked her whereabouts she texted them saying she was doing a job in the US. Udayan claimed he killed the girl suspecting her of cheating on him as she allegedly used to talk to another man. He was trying to leave the country and was arranging money for it. During interrogation, he also revealed that he befriended Akanksha through Facebook and they started living together in his house since June 2016. Udayan kept misleading police stating alternately that he married Akanksha in the US and then that he was in a live-in relationship with her.
The accused claimed that his father, BK Das, who retired from BHEL, started a factory in Chhattisgarh. After he passed away, his mother, Indrani Das, a deputy superintendent of police posted in MP and in Chhattisgarh, was looking after the factory. He claimed his mother sent him money for his expenses. However, police doubt the veracity of his statements. He has also rented the ground floor of his house to Prajapita Brahma Kumari Ashram. With the exception of him being the son of a former BHEL employee and owner of multiple properties in Delhi, Bhopal, Gwalior and Raipur, nothing that Das had told the police have turned out to be true. Contrary to his claims of being an IIT-graduate working in the higher echelons of the American establishment, the police have so far discovered that Udayan was just a Class 12 pass out from Bhopal’s Subhash School and had never worked in the US.
Udayan claimed he murdered his parents in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) in 2010 and buried their bodies in the garden of their own house. He then sold off the house to one Harish Pandey in 2013 for Rs 31 lakh and bought a Mercedes. He said he killed his parents because he was fed up with their objecting to his spendthrift ways which was affecting his engineering studies. A joint team of Bhopal and Bengal Police later exhumed the bodies of his parents. The skeletons, stuffed in rucksacks, were buried in an eight-foot-deep pit, police said. One of those was still wearing gold bangles and other jewellery, leading the cops to suspect that the body could be that of Udayan’s mother, Indrani. The other skeleton could be of his father, VK Das. Udayan’s maternal aunt, Kshipra, who stays in Piplani, was called to the police station on Saturday. She questioned him in Bengali, which made him cry and reveal the grisly details. The aunt, however, denied having any knowledge of Udayan staying in Bhopal.
Udayan claimed he killed his parents in a single day in 2010-11 at their house located at Sundar Nagar, in Raipur, after an argument with his mother. He strangulated her and then laced his father’s tea with sedatives before strangulating him, too. A labourer dug a pit in the garden where, at night, he buried the bodies. In custody of Bengal cops, Udayan said in Raipur he had wanted to kill Akanksha’s parents, too! Udayan’s murder escapades will make the misdeeds of likes of Charles Sobhraj pale into insignificance. For now, cops say he claims his first wife died in a road accident in Rome during their visit to that country. However, even now, he couldn’t provide any evidence of his claims. Udayan claimed he was living a stress-free life after murdering his parents and selling the property as nobody ever suspected his parents’ disappearance and he was thus safe. Sources said that during his interrogation by the Raipur police, Udayan had confessed to having been in touch with at least 12 women who he had connected with through his numerous Facebook accounts. While the police have been able to verify the identity of 10 of these women, they are yet to ascertain who the other two mentioned by him are.
The police, sources said are probing two possibilities. First that like many of Udayan’s claims which proved to be mere exaggerations or lies, these two women whose whereabouts haven’t been verified possibly don’t exist. The second possibility, however, is a much scarier one that like Akanksha and his own parents, Udayan may have murdered these two women too. However, sources said even though Udayan’s past crimes make one wonder if he could have committed other murders too, there was as of now no lead on this front. The Bankura police, who have been investigating the case with Das in their custody now, claim that although they are still finding it difficult to see through the web of lies weaved by the 32-year-old serial killer, their probe has revealed that Akanksha had booked a train ticket from Bhopal to Kolkata for July 12, 2016. According to the investigations in the case so far ever since Akanksha’s badly decomposed remains were recovered from the ‘tomb’, the police believe that the girl was killed sometime in July 2016. Das too had reportedly confessed to the joint team of Bhopal and Bankura police shortly after his arrest of having killed Akanksha in July 2016 though he did not reveal any other details then.
The Bankura police are still treating this latest revelation with some element of doubt as given Das’ disposition, which has been revealed to be highly dubious and manipulative during the course of the probe, it could have been him who booked the ticket purely to mislead Akanksha’s family, who at the time had began getting suspicious of her whereabouts, sources said. Sources said that during his questioning, Udayan also revealed to having procured a ‘fake job offer letter’ for Akanksha. “He had got some fake papers made to convince Akanksha of his connections in the USA. The documents included a ‘job offer’ for Akanksha from the Unicef and also an ‘approval’ for her US Visa,” police sources said, adding that these papers were prepared sometime in December 2015 and Udayan had perhaps used them to convince Akanksha of her contacts.
*By – Samuel Mathai
Views expressed in the Article are author’s own.