Gurugram: August 7, 2020 was the happiest day of Ajay Kumar’s life, or so he thought.
The 31-year-old had met Kajal Gupta on a courting app six months in the past, fallen in love, proposed to her, and obtained engaged. He was smitten, and although his members of the family objected at first to the match, they had been received over by Kajal’s smartness and successful manners. With family and friends cheering and beneath a bathe of flowers, the duo was married with full Hindu rituals in an east Delhi temple within the autumn of 2020. “Happily ever after” appeared effectively inside attain.
“I thanked god for giving me such a wonderful partner; she never demanded anything and always talked about saving money and planning our future and old age,” stated Kumar.
Except, it was all a ruse. One year into their marriage – 4 days after their first anniversary – Kumar got here again one night to seek out the home cleaned out and his spouse lacking.
He was the seventh sufferer of a lady – and this record included a share dealer, a financier and a physician – who duped males by first courting them on-line, then marrying them, and eventually dishonest them out of their money and property. As Kumar investigated deeper into the particular person he was going to share a life with, he realised how little he knew of her – not even her actual title. He met different victims, shared tales and realised how foolproof her plan was every time – she would assemble a brand new id and vanish into skinny air.
But in meeting Kumar, she made one mistake. Her straight-and-narrow suburban arithmetic instructor of a husband was additionally a part-time personal detective, who spent a year painstakingly placing collectively the fragments of her lengthy con. She’s nonetheless absconding, however police now say they’ve a deal with on her a number of identities, and are near arresting her. She was final seen in Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur on May 30.
Ballabhgarh deputy commissioner of police Kaushal Singh stated that groups had been monitoring her actions and had been near arresting her. “She has travelled from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh to Dehradun and Nanitial in Uttarakhand,” he stated.
Using accounts given by Kumar, some of her victims, her buddies and police investigators, HT pieced collectively how this extraordinary crime unfolded.
In February 2020, Kumar, a resident of Ballabhgarh in Faridabad, befriended a lady, who launched herself as Kajal Gupta. She appeared impressed with him, shared her quantity, and began chatting on WhatsApp. In July, they determined to satisfy in east Delhi’s Vinod Nagar. She used to reside in a rented flat there, and informed Kumar that her mother and father and family members lived in numerous components of the Capital. She additionally launched Kumar to at least one of her buddies, and by subsequent month, he had met 11 individuals who stated they had been household to Kajal.
“I fell in love with her and proposed marriage, to which she agreed. Her family members supported our decision and we got married on August 7, 2020,” he stated.
Kumar remembered that the preliminary months had been bliss. She informed him that she needed to be a housewife, increase a household, and reside a easy life. She obtained up early, did all of the chores, and attended to his family members and buddies. The first wave of the pandemic nixed their plans of a honeymoon, and compelled them to spend most of their time of their three-room flat in Ballabhgarh, however he wasn’t complaining. “She was active on social media and her family members often visited us and spent time with her. Everything was going on well,” stated Kumar.
In October, she informed Kumar that she needed to bolster the household earnings by opening a boutique. Kumar readily agreed, and deliberate to lease a store in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar. Kajal launched him to a advisor and wholesale fabric provider, who first requested them to rearrange ₹12 lakh to start the business, and laterasked for ₹20 lakh extra. On November 7, Kumar handed over his whole financial savings of ₹15 lakh to his spouse. He took loans from 4 completely different banks to pay the remaining, he added. Kumar borrowed ₹2 lakh from HDFC Bank, ₹3 lakh from ICICI Bank, and ₹4 lakh from Axis Bank. He continues to be receiving notices from financial institution and calls from recovery brokers.
DCP Singh stated they have the financial institution accounts checked and the quantity was withdrawn, however Kunal has not paid the banks again.
The boutique, Sanjana Fashions, was launched on November 20 with a small perform attended by all of Kajal’s family members. Kumar was slightly apprehensive however on November 25, Kajal introduced house ₹1 lakh in money, and informed Kumar that it was revenue from the store, he stated. “I was amazed at the business acumen of my wife….I thought my decision to support her business was right. I hoped I would be able to repay the loans soon,” stated Kumar.
On July 15, 2021, the couple moved right into a two-bedroom condominium above the store.
Kumar used to run a training centre in Ballabhgarh and would commute from Laxmi Nagar to Ballabhgarh day-after-day, and keep at his mother and father’ home for a pair of days throughout examinations as a result of the periods on the centre would run late. He made roughly ₹1.75 lakha month, whereas the store made one other ₹70,000, in response to Kumar.
Everything appeared regular till August 11, 2021. Kumar was in Ballabhgarh, and as regular, known as up Kajal. She didn’t answer. He tried once more, however the cellphone was switched off. Kumar suspected one thing was amiss. He rushed again to Delhi.
When he reached the condominium, what awaited him got here as a shock. All the furnishings, property, money and even the leftover stock on the store was gone. “I enquired from the neighbours. They said Kajal and her family members took away all the stuff saying they are shifting to Faridabad. I could not believe them and went to her parents’ house, but even there the neighbours told me they had also shifted out two days ago,” he stated. In all, he lost ₹45 lakh.
He went to the police however nobody believed him. It was then that he determined to fall again on his part-time gig as a personal detective. He solved over 20 fraud circumstances within the final three years, Kumar stated, including that it was his dream to work as a detective.
In September, he chanced upon his first clue. He began frequenting locations the place he had met the individuals who had claimed to be Kajal’s buddies and family members. After two weeks of relentless vigil, he met a lady he’d met earlier than as Kajal’s finest pal – on the identical fast-food joint she beloved. “She was shocked to see me, and tried to make excuses but after I pleaded and cried, she narrated the entire story. After I threatened to get her arrested, she helped me get in touch with Kajal’s earlier husbands,” he stated.
Between 2021 and May 15, 2022, he met six males who stated they’d been duped by the identical lady. Some had been fortunately married now, some nonetheless stewing after being cheated, and others bent upon revenge. Kumar stated her earlier husband lived in Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Faridabad and Delhi.
Police is taking cognisance…
Through their testimonies, a profile of Kajal began to emerge. There had been some widespread threads in what she informed the individuals he spoke to. She was born in Ludhiana on January 1, 1990, and needed to be a mannequin however couldn’t resulting from monetary issues.
At 19, she apparently obtained married for the primary time to a person in Delhi in 2010, however stole money and valuables and fled the home in 2012, ostensibly for Mumbai.
In 2014, she married a person, Ajay Gupta, she met on the prepare from Mumbai. “I wanted to help her as she had no one for support. I kept her in a friend’s place for a few days and asked her to work for me. After four months, she proposed to me and we got married, my family was very fond of her and we were a perfect couple,” Gupta informed HT.
“I am into finance and lending money, and always had cash lying in the office and home. On December 3, 2014, she went missing along with ₹30 lakh from the almirah. We tried to search for her but to no avail. We went to her relative’s place but could not find anyone,” stated Gupta, now a resident of Noida. He by no means lodged a case, hoping she’d come again sooner or later. Gupta is now married, and has three youngsters along with his spouse.
Another man, a 33-year-old stockbroker, stated he later realised the lady labored with a gang of 11 individuals, who posed as family and friends members. “I met her on a dating app and after getting married to her in Delhi, I was duped of ₹40 lakh. Her gang members threatened me and said they would upload compromising pictures and videos of me on social networking sites. I was doing well in my career so I relented,” stated the person, requesting anonymity. He now lives in Gurugram along with his spouse and two youngsters.
The lady’s “best friend”, Anjali, stated she obtained married in February this year and has not been in contact with the lady since. Anjali stated the 2 grew to become buddies in 2018. “She was in bad company and her only motive was to dupe people. She loved shopping, spending time on social media, travelling and leading a lavish life. She used to borrow money from people and never returned, she wanted to collect money and settle abroad. She has married six men in my presence and duped all of them,” added Anjali.
Police in pursuit
By September 2021, Kumar may see a sample.
The lady discovered males on web sites and social media platforms, dated them for some time, after which married them. She would keep for just a few months in a shared house, and launched members of her gang as members of the family. After successful their belief, she would vanish with no matter valuables she may get.
Police stated she owned 9 completely different Aadhaar playing cards, six PAN playing cards and 12 voter id playing cards.
Armed with this data, Kumar created an alias on the app they met, and noticed her – this time, as Sonali Singh, a resident of Noida. “I was following her post and I saw a reel on Instagram. I saw the name of a hotel near Moradabad and I contacted the hotel. The manager told me that she, along with her husband, left early in the morning for Nainital,” Kumar stated.
Kumar left for Nainital instantly. On the way in which, he noticed that Singh had shared one other video from Nainital with the title of a resort. Kumar known as the resort once more, and was informed that Singh was on her honeymoon. “We reached there on May 25 but she had left for Dehradun. I collected all the details, pictures and recorded statements of people and handed them over to Faridabad Police,” he stated.
On May 26, police registered a case beneath sections 420 (dishonest), 506 (legal intimidation), 34 (widespread intention) of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Kumar belongs to the Dalit neighborhood.
Kushal Singh, deputy commissioner of police (Ballabhgarh), stated that they’ve shaped groups and are conducting raids to arrest her. “We have recovered evidence against her and her gang members. She has duped many men and we are reaching out to all of them,” he stated.