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Cops Probe 'Blackmail Angle' in Divya Pahuja's Murder, Body Yet to Be Recovered

Divya Pahuja spent seven years in jail for her alleged role in ‘fake encounter’ of gangster Sandeep Gadoli.

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Two days after 27-year-old model Divya Pahuja, an accused in the 'fake encounter' of gangster Sandeep Gadoli, was shot dead inside a hotel in Gurugram, the BMW car used to dump her body was located in Punjab's Patiala, police officials said.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, 4 January, Gurugram Deputy Comissioner of Police (Crime) Vijay Pratap Singh said that the car was found locked and the police are yet to recover the body of the victim.

Three people, including Abhijeet Singh (56), the owner of Hotel City Point where Pahuja was murdered, were arrested in the case on Wednesday, 3 January.

According to a preliminary inquiry, Pahuja was allegedly blackmailing Singh with a few objectionable pictures of him, on the basis of which she had been extorting money, officials said.

CCTV visuals showed the three accused fleeing the hotel in a blue BMW car, carrying Pahuja's body in the boot, DCP Singh said.

Based on a complaint filed by Pahuja's sister Naina on 3 January, the Gurugram Police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a police official confirmed to The Quint.

Here's what we know about the case so far:

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What Happened on 2 January?

Abhijeet Singh told the police that he was introduced to Divya Pahuja by a man named Binder Gujjar, who was also one of the accused in the Gadoli encounter case, said DCP Singh.

While Pahuja was a resident of Gurugram’s Baldev Nagar, Singh was from Delhi’s South Extension area.

"Abhijeet was in touch with gangster Bindar Gujjar for the last 20 years... Divya too knew Gujjar through Sandeep Gadoli. After her bail in July 2023, Gujjar introduced her to Singh," he told media persons.

The DCP said that the accused and the victim had been acquaintances for the last 2.5-3 months.

"They developed some sort of relationship with each other. It is learnt that during this, Divya had taken several objectionable videos and pictures. She began to blackmail him for money and he gave it to her as well."
DCP (Crime) Vijay Pratap Singh

The DCP added that they are checking if money was transferred to Divya's account as Abhijeet claimed Rs 6 lakh was extorted from him.

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According to police officials, the alleged murder took place on the intervening night of 2-3 January.

During a preliminary interrogation, Singh told police that he had been running Hotel City Point on lease.

"On 2 January, Singh had come to Hotel City Point with Pahuja and wanted her to delete the obscene photos of him. At 5 pm, there was an altercation between the two on the issue. When she refused to give the password to her phone, Singh allegedly shot her dead," police officials said.
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CCTV Footage Show Two Men Dragging Victim's Body

According to the Gurugram Police, they received a call at around 9 pm on 2 January from Anoop, who had leased the hotel to Abhijeet, saying that there was a body found in the owner's room.

Police arrived at around 9 pm and checked Abhijeet's room (#114) but returned after they couldn't find anything, the DCP said.

Still suspicious, the Gurugram Police returned to ask Anoop for the CCTV footage where they saw the accused had moved Divya's body, the DCP said.

“We came to know Divya was in room number 111 after her body was moved. Suspicious that the woman was not found, we rechecked the hotel; this time, Divya’s room, too,” DCP Singh said.

The purported footage showed Singh taking the help of two staff members of the hotel – Hemraj (28), and Omprakash (23) – to help move Pahuja's body into his BMW car, police officials said.

The purported CCTV footage showed two men allegedly carrying a body wrapped in a blanket at around 10.40 pm on Tuesday.

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Body Yet To Be Recovered, Search Underway: Police

According to the police, Singh summoned two other accomplices (Balraj and Ravi Bangar), handed over his BMW car to them, and instructed them to dispose of the body. The police are looking for the duo.

"The vehicle involved in this case, which was found abandoned in Patiala (Punjab), has been unlocked but the body of the girl has not been recovered from it. Several police teams are trying to recover the absconding accused and the dead body," a police official said.

Meanwhile, police officials said that Singh has two cases against him — one under Arms Act in Delhi's Kotla Mubarakpur police station, and another for assault at Gurugram Sector 14 police station.

An engineer by profession, Singh had completed his studies from NIT Kurukshetra in 1989, police said. "He was working at a company for many years. In the last few years, he has been involved in the hotel business," DCP Singh said.

The BMW car used by Singh was taken up on lease by paying a mortgage of Rs 20 lakh, police said.

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Who Was Divya Pahuja?

Divya Pahuja, a former model from Gurugram, reportedly worked as a compere at club events in the city before meeting notorious gangster Sandeep Gadoli. At 19, Pahuja became Gadoli's girlfriend, sources claimed.

In February 2016, Gadoli was killed in an alleged fake encounter by officials of the Gurugram Police's Crime Branch. Pahuja was arrested on 14 July 2016, along with her mother Sonia and officials of Gurugram Police in connection with the case.

She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in June last year.

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Topics:  Murder   Gurugram   Gurugram Police 

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