On July 17, the accused picked up Shivam in his car on some pretext and soon after he got into the vehicle, Abhay allegedly shot him in the stomach

A young couple and their two accomplices, who kidnapped a man at Malkaganj here for a ransom of Rs.2 crore, murdered him and set the body afire along the bank of a canal in Maurya Enclave here a few days ago, have been arrested in North-West Delhi.

The half-burnt body of the victim was found lying near the canal bank on July 18. The victim’s hands were tied and tape put on his eyes and mouth. He was identified as 25-year-old Shivam Kapoor, a resident of Malkaganj, after the police learnt that his relatives had lodged a missing report at the Sabzi Mandi police station.

“We came across an 11-year-old boy who disclosed that he had seen some persons, including a woman, dumping the body near the canal and trying to set it ablaze. They were travelling in a Maruti Swift car,” said a police officer.

Inquiries by the police revealed that Shivam was last spotted with his friend Runeet a day before the body was discovered. “We then found that Abhay Diwan, a friend of Runeet, and his wife Mahima were missing after the incident. The couple owned a Maruti Swift car, which raised suspicion about their involvement,” said the officer.

Investigations led to the arrest of Abhay, his wife Mahima, Runeet and Jatin. During interrogation, they purportedly confessed to having murdered Shivam. “Abhay disclosed that he had lost Rs.70 lakh to gambling and was unable to repay the debt. He along with his accomplices conspired to kidnap some affluent person for a huge ransom to overcome the financial crisis. They bought a firearm, tape and other items for the purpose,” said the officer.During a visit to Malkaganj, Abhay met Runeet’s friend Shivam outside his house. Abhay later inquired from Runeet about Shivam’s financial status. Runeet informed him that Shivam belonged to an affluent family and that his father had recently sold a property.

On July 17, the accused picked up Shivam in his car on some pretext and soon after he got into the vehicle, Abhay allegedly shot him in the stomach. He along with Runeet then allegedly tied his hands and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons. They also injected him a sedative , after which he became consciousness. Abhay then called his wife and they went to neighbouring Faridabad to pick the fourth accused, Jatin.

On the way to the canal, Jatin allegedly shot the victim in the head to ensure that he was dead. They then bought petrol, dumped the body near the canal bank and set it ablaze. “The accused wanted to first kill the victim and then demand ransom from his parents using his mobile phone. At their instance, the mobile phone, the weapon of offence and the vehicle used in the commission of crime have been recovered,” the officer added.

Abhay, a property dealer, was into betting on cricket matches.

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