Chandigarh: Eleven days after she was shot dead in a Gurugram hotel, the body of ex-model Divya Pahuja was recovered from a canal in Haryana's Fatehabad district on Saturday, police said.
The body was recovered based on information provided by accused Balraj Gill (28), who along with another person, had disposed of the body. He was arrested from an airport in Kolkata on Thursday, police officials said.
Police said the body was identified through a tattoo on Divya's back, which could be seen in one of her old pictures.
On January 2, Pahuja was taken to Hotel City Point by five people and shot in the head inside room number 111 because she had allegedly been extorting money from the hotel owner, Abhijeet Singh (56), by blackmailing him with his "obscene pictures", police had said earlier.
Gurugram Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Varun Kumar Dahiya said Pahuja's body was recovered from the subsidiary canal of the Bhakra canal in Fatehabad's Tohana.
It will be sent for a post-mortem examination, he said.
CCTV footage from Hotel City Point showed the accused, including Singh, purportedly dragging Pahuja's body wrapped in a white sheet through the lobby. They later fled the hotel in a car with the body in the boot.
According to police, Singh handed over the car with the body to Gill around a kilometre from the hotel. The car was later found abandoned at a bus stand in Punjab's Patiala.
Police launched an extensive operation to find Pahuja's body after disclosures made by Gill following his arrest, they said.
He disposed of the body with another accused, Ravi Banga at the behest of Abhijeet, they said.
Police had earlier arrested four people -- Abhijeet, Hemraj, Omprakash and Megha -- in connection with the case.
ACP Dahiya said Banga was yet to be arrested.
Later speaking to reporters in Gurugram, he said Gill is being brought back to Gurugram on transit remand.
ACP Dahiya said Abhijeet took the help of Megha for disposing of the weapon and some material evidence of the case.
Megha was arrested on January 8, he said, adding that Abhijeet procured the weapon, used in the crime, from Parvesh who was arrested on Friday.
During his questioning, Parvesh said he had supplied three more weapons to Abhijeet sometime back as he was fond of keeping weapons, said police.
A case for keeping an illegal weapon had been registered against Abhijeet in 2021, the ACP said.
Following the questioning of Abhijeet and Parvesh, the special investigation team of the Haryana police Saturday recovered the weapons which were provided by Parvesh.
Two illegal weapons and 40 live cartridges have been recovered, Dahiya said.
One weapon from Parvesh and two live cartridges have also been recovered, he said, adding that six teams have been formed to recover the body.
Divya was in jail for over seven years for conspiring a “fake encounter” of her partner gangster Sandeep Gandoli in Mumbai with Gurugram police and rival gang leader Virendra Kumar alias Binder Gujjar on February 6, 2016.
At the time of Gandoli’s killing, Gujjar was in prison but had hatched the plan with the help of his brother Manoj and roped in Divya.
Mumbai Police registered an FIR against five police personnel, Divya, her mother and others. The Bombay High Court granted bail to Divya in June, 2023.