In a case straight out of the crime thrillers, two persons convicted for murdering a woman were acquitted by the civil court in Bihar’s Chapra district after the police found the ‘murder victim alive.
The case dates back to May of 2019 when a woman named Sweety from the Kakarhat village told her in-laws that she was visiting her parents’ home in the Bajitpur village. However, Sweety and her seven-year-old son disappeared and never reached Bajitpur.
“Two days after the disappearance of Sweety, a woman was found murdered on the banks of the Dabra river near Hakma village,” Indrajeet Baidha, the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Madhaura, said.
“When Sweety’s father Vijay Singh was called for identification, he identified the dead body as Sweety through her anklets. Singh also blamed her in-laws for the murder. After the allegations, the then investigating officer Shivnath Ram arrested two persons, including a woman on the charge of murder.”
When Baitha took the charge as the SDPO Madhaurah, he detected certain missing elements in the case. He suspected that the dead body of the woman that was identified by her father was not the actual victim and there were no whereabouts of her minor son.
“As it was a missing link, I changed the investigating officer of the case and handed over to Vikas Kumar, the SHO of the Bheldi police station. We suspected that the anklets could not be a conclusive way of identification.”
“During the investigation, it came to light that Sweety had gone to Mumbai. However, her location was not established. A police team from Bheldi police station mounted surveillance on Sweety’s family, and from the local intelligence, came to know about her returning to Muzaffarpur via the Pawan express train. Subsequently, a trap was laid and police nabbed her along with minor son on Friday,” Baitha said.
“We presented her in the civil court, which immediately gave the order of acquittal to the two persons who had been languishing in the jail for the past one-and-half years,” he said.
Sweety got married to one Manbodh Kumar in 2008. He was mentally unstable. The two acquitted persons are Kumar’s elder brother and his wife.
The department has also recommended an inquiry against former investigating officer Shivnath Ram’s shoddy probe.
(With IANS inputs)