LUCKNOW: More than three weeks ago, the body of a businessman was pulled from a mutilated car that had crashed into a truck well after midnight on the Punthar highway (near NH 28) in Ambedkarnagar district. Businessman Sanjay Verma was found slumped in the driver’s seat, his skull cracked and stuck in the steering wheel.
What was initially billed as an open and closed case of accidental death due to impaired driving turned out to be a crime of passion with the arrest of two people on Saturday.
The defendants, Praveen Patel and Ajit Kumar Verma, who organized the murder on November 1 by staging an accident on a busy highway, were revealed by the autopsy report which indicated death by strangulation. And the murder plot was hatched by Patel to avenge his wife’s alleged extramarital affair with the businessman, who was a mutual friend.
Police Superintendent, Ambedkarnagar, Alok Priyadarshi, said Patel suspected his wife of having a relationship with his friend, Sanjay, and planned to eliminate him with his assistant, Ajit Verma.
On October 31, Patel invited Sanjay Verma to a party at his house. After heavy drinking, his assistant Ajit strangled a drunken Sanjay with a rope, threw him in a car, and headed for the Punthar Highway within Tanda Police Limits. After a while, Sanjay was placed in the driver’s seat and the duo pushed on the accelerator to generate speed. As the car sped towards a broken down truck, Patel and his assistant opened the side doors and jumped out before the vehicle crashed with a big bang.
Police attended the scene and identified the businessman’s body and sent him for an autopsy. The autopsy revealed strangulation asphyxiation as the cause of death, which was unlikely in the event of an accident. Police activated their surveillance mechanism and focused on Praveen and Ajit from their last location.
During questioning, the duo confessed to their crime. Praveen told police that Sanjay frequented his home in his absence and kept in touch with his wife over the phone, which forced him to commit murder.


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