The murder of meritorious city college student, Shweta Agarwal had triggered a huge public outcry across Assam. The details of the case were so grisly and jarring that it left a mark in the hearts and minds of the public.
Rosie Kalita, the then ADCP (Crime) Guwahati and her team, worked closely with the victim’s family and made sure the accused were caught and brought to justice. Kalita, who is now posted as an Additional Superintendent of Police (Hq) Nagaon, successfully cracked the case which led to the conviction of the accused involved in the sensational Bharalumukh Case No. 805/17.
Govind Singhal, who was Shweta’s boyfriend, was awarded death sentence by a fast track court in Guwahati on August 3rd, 2019. His mother Kamla Devi Singhal and sister Bhawani Singhal were sentenced to life imprisonment.
“Justice always prevails. This is a landmark judgement and we are happy that we could conduct thorough investigations based on which the accused were convicted,” says an elated Kalita while speaking to the media persons.
The Singhals were convicted under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC. The trio was charged with murder, tampering with evidence and criminal conspiracy.
Rosie, whose strength, tenacity, wit is now being applauded, solved the murder case in less than one-and-half-year. When asked how she dealt with attempts to destroy evidence, she quips,”Kanoon ke haath bahut lambe hote hain. We are taught about a term called Locard’s exchange principle in forensic science. The perpetrator of a crime will bring something into the crime scene and leave with something from it.”
The APS officer shared that her team maintained a diary pasting photographs of the investigation which helped them chronicling the details.
Shweta was the state topper in her 12th grade in the commerce stream in 2015. At the time of her death, she was a student of 5th semester B Com student in KC Das Commerce College here. Her charred body was found in the bathroom of the rented house of the Singhals located in Shantipur area of the city.
Shweta had visited Govind’s rented accommodation on December 4th, 2017 at Shantipur locality in Bharalumukh area of the city. Both picked up a fight on the issue of the marriage and at one time, Govind smashed her head into the wall.
She screamed and fell down unconscious. Govind panicked when he failed to detect an unconscious Shweta’s pulse. It was then he thought of throwing her in the Bharalu river and tied the blood-soaked body wrapped in a gunny bag on his bike. But he came back home without dumping the body as he thought “it might be traced back to him if the body is recovered as some people had seen him carry the gunny bag on his bike”.
Govind then dragged the body to the bathroom of his house. He poured kerosene on Shweta’s body and set it on fire. Guwahati Police had said though Shweta had lost her consciousness, she died after she was set on fire by the Govind and his mother-sister.
More than 22 witnesses were produced in the court and the charge sheet was filed within 2 months 13 days of the incident.
After the announcement of the court’s verdict, Om Prakash Agarwal, father of the Shweta, broke down in front of the media persons. “Today my daughter’s soul will rest in peace. I thank the police team and judiciary for ensuring justice for my daughter,” he said.
Guwahati | First Published: Aug 03, 2019