Having remained incommunicado for 47 days, five members of a Dalit-tribal family in Nemawar town of Dewas, around 40 km from Madhya Pradesh’s commercial capital Indore, were finally traced on June 29, albeit, all of them stripped, stabbed to death and buried inside a 10-feet deep pit in a farm land.
The dead included four females and a boy, all belonging to the same family. Three were minors among the dead.
It soon emerged that the murders took place following a failed love affair. The incident, which involves the farm owner and his brother, has brought shockwaves to the state.
The deceased included Mamta Kaste, 45, her daughters, Rupali, 21, and Dipali, 14, and cousins Puja and Pawan Oswal (15 and 14). All of them were stripped, hacked and stabbed to death one by one and buried in a 10-feet-deep pit in the farm in Nemawar town, the police said. Urea and salt were also found in the pit supposedly used by the murderers to decompose the body at the earliest and clothes of the deceased were burnt to destroy evidences.
It all had started on May 17 when Bharti, Mamta’s daughter who lives in Pithampur lodged a complaint with the police in Nemawar (Dewas) about her missing family members. Clueless about what happened to the family, the police had formed several teams to locate them. Interestingly, for a long time, Rupali’s mobile phone was active but location of the phone kept changing.
On Rupali’s phone number, her social media accounts were updated regularly. However, after a while the police noted that only old pictures and updates were used on Rupali’s number and investigators smelled a rat.
Initially, the police got confused and took Rupali as the suspect after her aunt Neetu had approached the police on May 27 and said Rupali had abducted her daughter Puja and son Pawan. Police’s suspicion had grown further as Rupali’s cellphone was active and social media posts got updated from her number.
The police had initially suspected that the tribal family had shifted somewhere else. Even the main culprit, Surendra Singh Rajput, 25, used to visit police station with Rupali’s maternal uncle Santosh urging police to solve the case at the earliest so he wasn’t on police radar for a long time.
In between the police got some leads that one of the missing persons, Rupali had a love affair with one Surendra. Police now altered the direction of the probe and focused the investigation on Surendra and his associates, who belonged to the village’s influential community. Rupali’s call records also affirmed the love affair between the two.
Surendra Singh Rajput, 25, was among six arrested for the murders
Police a few days ago rounded up one of the workers who was employed by the Rajput family and got some vital leads about the case. Then, on June 26, the police had detained Surendra and five of his associates and during the interrogation they reportedly confessed to their crime. On their leads, the bodies were recovered from Rajput family farm on June 29. JCB machines were used to exhume the dead who almost turned into skeletons.
On the same day, seventh accused, Rakesh Nimore, who was operating Rupali’s cellphone while changing locations frequently was arrested from Khandwa. He was changing the location to distract the police and even posted messages from Ruplai’s phone that the family was safe.
Superintendent of police Shivdayal Singh said a missing complaint was received on May 17 and after a hectic search, the case was exposed. Local resident, Surendra Rajput, had allegedly eliminated the family after they had objected to his marriage with his fiancée while having an affair with Rupali. Besides, Surendra, others arrested include his brother, Virendra, Rajmukar Keer, Vivek Tiwari, Karan and Manoj Korku and Rakesh Nimore.
Rakesh and Virendra are in police remand while five others have been sent to judicial remand.
Mamta’s sister Neetu is in a state of shock and has taken ill.
How Surendra and Rupali’s relation turned sour
Surendra, who belongs to an affluent family of Nemawar, had a love affair with Rupali for three years. Recently, Rupali, had learnt that Surendra got engaged clandestinely. She then put up an “objectionable” post on his fiancée on Instagram in May that apparently fumed Surendra. Rupali wasn’t ready to accept that that the marriage had been fixed with someone else, therefore, she kept “pressuring me", Surendra told the police.
How Rupali and his kin were murdered one by one in cold blood
On the night of May 13, in a pre-planned manner, Surendra called Rupali to her farm on Mela road in Nemawar on the pretext of marriage, got intimate with her and later hit her with a rod killing her on the spot and buried her in the farm. He then sent his brother Virendra to Rupali’s house and asked her mother Mamta and sister Divya for talks and then allegedly killed them too. Aiming that nobody has a whiff about the incident, Rupali’s cousins — Puja and Pawan living with the family — also were brought to the farm and were killed. It’s a bit unclear how the accused manage to dig such a deep pit without letting others know. According to sources, a pit was dug into the farm for a power transformer which the accused used to bury the bodies.
Mamta’s daughter returned home and approached police
Mamta’s daughter Bharti used to work at Pithampur (Dhar) who returned home in Nemawar on May 17 and after not finding the family approached to the police with a missing complaint. Despite a hectic search, the police could not find them anywhere. Bharti told the police that her father Mohanlal works in Indore while her mother Mamta, sisters –Rupali and Divya, along with aunt’s children Puja and Pawan lived in Nemawar town. She had last talked to her mother on May 13.
CM Chouhan for speedy disposal of case
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and home minister Narottam Mishra have avowed early disposal of the case in a fast-track court. Chouhan also had directed DGP to take strict action in the case. On Friday, the administration had razed the house and shop of Surendra and the house of his associate Vivek Tiwari too was demolished.
(Inputs from Varun Rathore, News18)