Besides property-related dispute between them, the live-in partner of folk singer Sushma Nekpuri was against her performing on stage, especially during political events, and that is why he got her killed via hired criminals, the city police said on Monday.
The 25-year-old Raagini singer was gunned down on the night of October 1 near her residence in Greater Noida by two unidentified assailants.
The police nabbed the two shooters after an encounter on Sunday evening in Beta 2 area. The two led them to arrest main accused Ganjendra Bhati, the live-in partner of Sushma, and three others.
"Bhati had hired the criminals for a sum of Rs 8 lakh. All evidences have been collected including the pistol used to fire on Sushma, the motorcycle used during the crime, among others. All dots in the case have been connected which prove that the live-in partner wanted her eliminated," Superintendent of Police, Greater Noida, Ranvijay Singh said.
"There was a property-related dispute between the couple and Gajendra also did not want to her to continue with her stage performances, singing or dancing and was also against her growing interest in political events. He had asked her not to go for performance during political events, but she decided otherwise, leading to bitterness in their relationship," he told reporters.
Singh said Bhati had hired Mukesh Kashyap and Sandeep Pal to eliminate Sushma and offered them Rs 8 lakh. The duo had even rented a flat in Mitra Society in Greater Noida’s Bisrakh, the same society where Sushma and Bhati lived.
Accused Mukesh and Sandeep, who were held after an encounter with the police on Sunday, have a long criminal history, the SP said.
Mukesh alone has 25 cases including those of culpable homicide, robbery, murder attempt, and has been booked under Arms Act and Gangsters Act in the past, while Sandeep is accused in about half a dozen similar matters, he added.
After probe, the police had also arrested Bhati's accomplices including driver Amit and friends Pramod Kasana and Ajab Singh, totalling six arrests in the blind murder case within six days, Singh said.