Lucknow: A 22-year-old LLB student was killed allegedly by his male partner and two others after he started blackmailing the main accused for money, the Meerut police said.
The deceased, Yash Rastogi of Jagriti Vihar in Meerut, went missing after he left to meet the main accused, Shavez, at his workshop in Fatehullapur area on the evening of 26 June. A missing complaint was lodged by Yash’s family on the morning of 27 June.
An analysis of Yash’s Call Detail Records (CDR) and footage from CCTV cameras revealed that around 4 pm on 26 June, he had reached Shavez’s powerloom workshop, in his scooter.
Police confirmed that Yash met Shavez, 29, through Grindr — a gay dating app — about three-four months ago.
“Yash had a Tinder profile but it was deactivated. He also had a profile on Grindr through which he met Shavez. The two met several times and were in a relationship. Both of them were connected with other gay men through the app,” a senior Meerut police officer told ThePrint.
Yash had allegedly filmed a video of him with his partner in an objectionable position and was using the video to blackmail Shavez, the officer said.
SP, Crime, Anit Kumar Singh told ThePrint that during questioning, Shavez revealed that Yash was blackmailing and pressuring him to continue their relationship. “Yash took Rs 40,000 from him. As Shavez refused to continue the relationship, the blackmailing increased and Yash recently demanded Rs 5,000 more,” he added.
Singh said the family knew about the Yash’s sexual orientation. Yash’s family was unavailable for comments.
Police confirmed that Shavez engaged two of his workers — Alishan and Salman — in orchestrating the murder.
The SP (crime) said Alishan helped Shavez tie Yash with a machine and shoved a piece of cloth in his mouth. Salman followed Shavez’s directions and locked the door of the workshop from outside during the act and later assisted in dumping the body, police said.
“As Yash remained tied to the machine, he was either strangulated to death or he possibly got suffocated. The accused kept his body for a few hours and stashed it in plastic sacks before dumping it in a 20-ft deep drain where chemical waste from the nearby factories gets collected,” Singh said.
Yash’s body was recovered from the drain late Saturday night after police detained and questioned Shavez.
An autopsy report said that the cause of death was uncertain. “Viscera was preserved but Shavez revealed that they had tied Yash to a machine with a rope. Possibly, he was strangulated or he died of suffocation,” Singh said.
As reports went viral about the possibility of sodomy before the murder, police said that the doctors who conducted the post mortem have ruled it out. “The rumours on social media that his body was cut into pieces are all false,” the senior officer said.
SP, City, Meerut Vineet Bhatnagar said a missing complaint was received on 27 June and it was converted into a case of kidnapping after the family expressed suspicion of his abduction.
“Around 250 CCTV cameras were scanned and we found that Yash went on his own. Nobody called him. He has been spotted riding his scooter. In the same sequence, at one spot, his movement is no longer recorded. It was after here that he was no more seen on footage,” Bhatnagar told the media. “When we corroborated details, it came to light that the three men murdered Yash and dumped his body.”
(Edited by Tony Rai)