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5 Feb 2017

Police gasp at tales from crypt

Rasheed Kidwai and Abhijeet Chatterjee, TT, Feb. 4: Udayan Das is turning out to be a nightmare for police.
Sources said the 32-year-old - accused of killing his partner Akansha Sharma and entombing the young woman from Bankura inside his Bhopal home - has been making contradictory claims since his arrest on Thursday night.
Today he claimed he had killed his parents too and buried them in a property he once owned in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The police sources said Udayan, who has apparently confessed to creating over 200 Facebook profiles, also claimed he had a wife who died in a road accident in Rome.
His passport does not reflect any foreign travel.
"Udayan has been constantly changing his statements. Earlier he said his father died in 2015 and his mother was in the US. Now he says he has killed them both," Bhopal police chief Siddharth Bahugana said.
"During interrogation, he said his parents had scolded him for his addiction to liquor and drugs. Hence, he killed them," Bahugana added.
Udayan was arrested following a complaint from Akansha's father, Bankura resident Shivendra Kumar Sharma, in December after he told her family she could be contacted only through WhatsApp and Facebook because she was in the US.
Akansha had left her Bankura home last June, saying she was going to the US to work for an international aid organisation.
Udayan is also alleged to have used the 28-year-old's social media accounts to chat with her parents in Bengal to convince them that she was safe. A police team from Bankura is now in the Madhya Pradesh capital to bring Udayan to Bengal on a six-day transit remand.
Akansha's last rites were performed at Bhopal's Subhash Nagar crematorium today in the presence of her parents, brother and some close relatives.
Police sources said although Udayan had initially told them he killed Akansha as he suspected her of having an affair, he was now claiming the murder was a fallout of her repeated demands to meet his parents.
Madhya Pradesh police chief Rishiraj Shukla today sent a team to Raipur to check if Udayan's claims about his parents were true. He has apparently told interrogators that he sold the property in Raipur's Shanti Nagar in 2011 after he murdered and buried his parents.
Bhopal-based psychologist Priti Mathur said Udayan was probably a drug addict and was trying to project himself as a psychopath to get leniency in court. "I can imagine how he may have tricked Akansha with sob stories and trapped her emotionally. Akansha may have tried helping him out financially and providing him with emotional support," she said.
Two days before his arrest, Udayan had been spotted at a movie hall in Bhopal watching Raees with the daughter of an affluent dry-fruit merchant.
In one of his Facebook profiles, Udayan introduces himself as Udayan Robinson. His posts include meeting former US President Barack Obama and a morphed picture with current President Donald Trump.
Udayan's neighbours in Bhopal's Saket Nagar recalled seeing him carrying a teddy bear with him all the time and often talking to it. "He would buckle up the teddy in the car and treat it like a co-passenger," said Rajendra Ringe, a neighbour.
In Bankura, the police have found out that Akansha had met Udayan on Facebook in 2015, when she was in Delhi preparing for UPSC exams. "Things escalated quickly and the friendship turned into romance. The man visited Bankura town twice in the past two years. He stayed in a hotel during his first visit and, on his last visit in October 2015, he spent a night at Akansha's rented house in the town where she lived with her parents," said an officer investigating the case.
"Her parents were against the relationship," the officer added.
The police team from Bankura were to board a Bengal-bound train today with Udayan, but will have to wait longer as Bhopal police will take him to Raipur.
"We have requested Bhopal police to hand over the accused soon so that we can complete our part of the investigation," Bankura district police chief Sukhendu Heera said.
Bhopal police officials said Udayan had a foul smell on his body when he was arrested and had told them during interrogation that he hadn't bathed in three months. He also claimed to have been drinking round the clock.
"We forced him to take a bath as the odour was unbearable," said a policeman.
The officials said investigators found a noose while searching Udayan's house. They said Udayan had told them he had tied the noose a few weeks ago to commit suicide but couldn't muster the courage.

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