Former Model, Murder Accused: Who Was Divya Pahuja, Shot Dead in Gurugram Hotel?

Divya Pahuja was murdered 8 years after her gangster boyfriend Sandeep Gadoli died in an alleged shoot-out.

4 min read

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Divya Pahuja, an accused in the Gadoli murder case, was murdered in a hotel in Gurugram on Tuesday, 2 January. The 27-year-old former model was shot dead in Hotel City Point near a bus stand in the city, police said.

So far, Gurugram Police have arrested three persons in connection with the murder. The three accused have been identified as Abhijeet Singh (56), Hemraj (28), and Omprakash (23).

  • 01/03

    Abhijeet Singh

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 02/03

    Om Prakash

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 03/03


    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Acting on a tip, Gurugram Police reached Hotel City Point on Wednesday, 3 January, and found that the accused were in the process of disposing the dead body.

A case was registered at Gurugram's Sector 14 Police Station, based on the complaint of Pahuja's sister.

But how much do we exactly know about Divya Pahuja? How was she involved in the 2016 Gadoli murder case? And why was she allegedly murdered just months after being released from jail? Read on.


Who Was Divya Pahuja?

Divya Pahuja was murdered 8 years after her gangster boyfriend Sandeep Gadoli died in an alleged shoot-out.

From a humble middle class background, Divya Pahuja grew up in Gurugram's Baldev Nagar.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@Divya Pahuja)

Divya Pahuja completed Class 12 from St PBN Public School in Gurugram's Sector 17, according to a 2016 report by Hindustan Times.

An aspiring model and actress, she used to reportedly work as a compere at club events in the city before meeting notorious gangster Sandeep Gadoli. At 19, Pahuja was said to be Gadoli's girlfriend.

In February 2016, Gadoli was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gurugram Police's Crime Branch.

Divya Pahuja was murdered 8 years after her gangster boyfriend Sandeep Gadoli died in an alleged shoot-out.

Divya Pahuja was a model from Gurugram, before she was arrested in connection with the alleged murder of her gangster boyfriend Sandeep Gadoli.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@Divya Pahuja)

According to the Mumbai Police, the accused police officials had taken the help of Pahuja to lure Gadoli to a hotel in Mumbai where the alleged fake encounter took place, PTI reported.

The police officials had also allegedly conspired with a rival gang run by Virendra Kumar alias Binder Gujjar to murder Gadoli, the report said.

In July 2016, Pahuja was arrested from Delhi for allegedly aiding and abetting the murder of Gadoli, according to a report by Times of India. Pahuja's mother as well as five other police officers were also arrested in connection with Gadoli's alleged murder, the report added.

Pahuja went on to spend the next seven years in jail, until the Bombay High Court granted her bail in June 2023.


Why Was Divya Pahuja Murdered?

Based on preliminary interrogation of accused Abhijeet Singh, Gurugram Police said that Pahuja had taken obscene pictures of Singh and was allegedly using them to blackmail him for money. She used to often take money from Abhijeet Singh for expenses and now wanted to extort a huge amount from him, the police statement read.

On 2 January 2024, Singh had come to Hotel City Point with Pahuja and wanted her to delete the obscene photos of him. When she refused to give up the password to her phone, Singh allegedly shot her dead, as per the police.

With the help of the other two accused who worked as hotel staff, Singh kept the dead body in his BMW car. After this, he called two other associates and gave them his car to dispose of the dead body, police said.

The three accused who have been arrested are expected to be presented in court. Further investigation of the murder is underway, Gurugram Police said.


Who Was Sandeep Gadoli?

Infamously known as Gurugram's "most-wanted", Gadoli was reportedly on the run from the police as he was an accused in more than 30 cases, including the killing of the driver of rival gangster-turned-municipal councillor Binder Gujjar.

Gadoli used to be part of Gujjar's gang in Gurugram, but he ended up forming his own gang after a dispute with the gang leader, according to Times of India.

The two rival gangs (Gadoli gang and Gujjar gang) had been fighting for over four years for control of the extortion, land-grabbing, gambling, and alcohol smuggling businesses in the region, according to an IANS report.

A cash reward of ₹1.25 lakh had been announced for the capture of Gadoli.

Then, a six-member team of the Gurugram Police's Crime Branch led by Sub-Inspector Pradhuman Yadav shot Gadoli dead in a Mumbai hotel. While the police officials said that he was killed in a shoot-out, Gadoli's family insisted that he was killed in a 'fake encounter' on the directions of rival gangster Gujjar.

Hence, Gadoli's family moved the Bombay High Court which directed the Mumbai Police Crime Branch to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and probe the allegations of a fake encounter by Gurugram Police.

The investigation found that the shoot-out was a "cold-blooded murder", Times of India reported.

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