A priest and his wife allegedly murdered a 35-year-old man, stored his body on the terrace of a temple for two days before finally setting it ablaze on Wednesday morning in an attempt to conceal the victim’s identity, police said.
The murder came to light when a neighbour alerted the police about fire on the temple terrace and suspected that the strong smell was of burning flesh, police added.
“The murdered man turned out to be the lover of the priest’s wife. When the priest (of the temple) learnt of the extramarital relationship, the woman offered to end the chapter by drawing her lover into a death trap,” said Nupur Prasad, DCP (Shahdara).
The arrested couple has been identified as Lakhan Dubey, the priest of the Pracheen Shiv Mandir in Gandhi Nagar, and his wife. In their early 30s, the couple had been married for the last nine years.
Since there was also a separate and independent entry to the temple terrace, the couple allegedly thought they could mislead the police. “They also broke the lock of the terrace gate to show it as the handiwork of an outsider,” Prasad claimed.
But when the police, alerted by a neighbour, reached the murder spot, they realised it was a “friendly entry” to the terrace and the broken lock was an attempt to mislead the police. “The charred body was still emitting heat when a police team reached there,” said the officer.
Since the body was not entirely burnt, it did not take too much effort to identify the dead man. A subsequent probe revealed the relationship between him and the priest’s wife. “We questioned the couple and they confessed to the murder. They have been arrested,” said the DCP.