|The car in which Seerat planned to drive off; Seerat with husband Ekam Singh Dhillon|
TT, Mohali, March 20: A young mother of two shot her husband, stuffed his 6-foot-3-inch body into a suitcase and was about to drive off in a BMW to dump the bag far away but tripped on her own plans after an alert auto-rickshaw driver got suspicious.
On Sunday morning, Seerat Kaur had asked the auto driver for help to lift the "unusually heavy" suitcase into the car parked outside her house - at 116, Mohali Phase-3 - but didn't appear to have noticed the bloodstains.
The auto driver did and alerted a police patrol van.
A police source said the auto driver informed the PCR van that a woman had sought his help to lift a suitcase inside a BMW parked outside the house. When the cops opened the suitcase, they found the body.
The landlord's family could not identify the bag. Upstairs, the cops found the two children.
Seerat, 35, was arrested last night, nearly 24 hours after she murdered Ekam Singh Dhillon, a 40-year-old real estate dealer.
A police officer in SAS Nagar - Mohali is the Punjab district's administrative headquarters - said Seerat was planning to dump the suitcase in Lambi, around 265km away.
Police sources said they had pieced together how the crime took place but were still not sure about the motive although they were exploring a possible love triangle.
"The victim's family members have alleged that Seerat was in a relationship with another man and the BMW belonged to him. Seerat claims that her husband would return home drunk every night and beat her. A probe is on," a senior police officer said.
"Seerat claimed that Ekam would make unnecessary expenses that led to financial strain on the family," the officer added.
Seerat, a niece of a former MLA, and Ekam got married 12 years back. A son was born a year later and a daughter after another six years.
The Dhillon family had moved to the new house about a fortnight ago from Chandigarh's Sector 40.
Investigators suspect that Seerat was involved in a relationship with a friend of her brother, Vinay Pratap Brar. The police have filed cases against Seerat, Vinay and their mother Jaswinder Kaur.
According to the police, the couple had a fight on Saturday night when Vinay and his unidentified friend were also present.
"Ekam was attacked by all three. Then he was taken to the washroom, where two bullets were fired from a .9mm pistol. One of the bullets hit Ekam in the neck while the other remained stuck in the pistol. There were attempts to wipe the bloodstains from the washroom floor and walls but we could find traces," said a police officer.
It is not clear why Seerat and her two alleged accomplices kept the body overnight at the Mohali house and waited till daybreak to try and dispose it of.
According to the police sources, Seerat told the investigators that Ekam had returned drunk on Saturday night and started beating her. "She also claimed that he had tried to shoot her and she had snatched the pistol and shot him in self-defence.
"But Ekam did not possess any firearm. When she was told about this, she confessed to her crime," said a police officer.
A hunt is on for Vinay and his friend.