A Shraddha Walker-like murder in an interfaith relationship has sent shockwaves across the state of Jharkhand. The victim, 21-year-old Archna, was found dead, and her boy was recovered from two separate wells, with one carrying the torso and the other carrying her head. The accused in this case has been identified as her alleged lover, Mohammad Ehsaan, alias Badal. This case draws a similar pattern to the famous murder of Shraddha Walker in Delhi by her live-in partner, Aftab Poonawala, who strangled her to death and then chopped her into 36 pieces to dispose of across the city every night over the next 18 days.
A First Information Report (number 412/2023) was registered at the Gumla police station on December 5 by the victim’s family. The complaint was lodged after locals from Fori village, which falls under the Gumla district of Jharkhand, found a dead body in a well following a foul smell.
Police took out the body and found the head missing. After searching, they found the head in another well located some distance ahead. The police also found a bag lying near the next well, which had an Adhar card, and then the identification of the body was done. She was identified as Archna Kandulna, a native of the Rania police station area of the Jaipur village of the district.
— Gumla Police (@GumlaPolice) December 9, 2023
After the identification was made, the police began the probe and then tracked the accused, Mohammad Ehsaan Mirdaha, by analysing the call details. The Special Team tracked the accused on December 9 and then the arrest was made. Police told Organiser that the accused had confessed to the crime and was sent to police custody.
Organiser called the victim’s family on December 11 and Olive Kandulna, the mother of the victim, said that Archna left the house on November 24 for Pune, as she worked there. From November 24, the family was unable to contact her; the last time she spoke to her brother, and informed him that she had missed her train from Ranchi and would be staying with her friend.
Archna’s father, Junul Kandulna, said he lives in the Bano area and works as a labourer, on November 24, Archna called her father, asking for money for the train tickets. The police came to their house at around 9 p.m. on December 5 and asked for pictures of Archna. They said she was no more and her body was found in a well.
Junul belonged to the Vanvasi community and was later converted to Christianity.
The police arrested accused Ehsaan with the help of police dog who identified him, the weapon used in this murder was an axe and was also recovered by the police. The accused said, he chopped the victim through the weapon and then disposed of her in separate wells.
According to a report by ETV Bharat, the accused, Ehsaan, confessed to the police that he committed the crime after discovering compromising pictures on the victim’s mobile phone. The victim, Archna, allegedly used the images to blackmail him and had even blocked his number.
Fueled by anger, Ehsan called Archna to a local fair (mela) in Fori village for a meeting. Once in his confidence, Ehsaan convinced Archna to undress before brutally attacking her with a sharp object, believed to be a Tangi or axe. The accused then went on to behead the victim and disposed of her torso in one well and her head in another.
The heinous crime has sparked outrage, with Koche Munda, BJP MLA from the Torpa assembly constituency, leading a protest outside the block office in Rania, demanding justice for the deceased victim. Munda, expressing concern over the increasing crimes against tribals in the state, called for stringent punishment for the accused and urged for the death penalty.
The BJP MLA also met with the victim’s father. According to the victim’s father, Archna had missed her train to Delhi at Ranchi Station and had informed him that she was staying at a friend’s house, needing financial assistance.
Prant Paravartan Pramukh of the Hindu Jagran Manch, Sanjay Kumar Verma in conversation with Organiser has labelled the incident as a case of love jihad. Verma warned that if the police fail to conduct a thorough investigation, the Hindu rights organization will demand a CBI probe into the matter. The community awaits further developments as authorities work to uncover the truth behind this horrifying crime.
Readers should know that in December 2022, a Dalit woman identified as Ribika Pahadin was killed by Dildar Ansari and chopped her into over 50 pieces and thrown it in the outskirts of the city. The case was reported after locals found a dog tearing flesh from a human body in the Santhali Momin Tola area in the Sahebganj district.
Police began an investigation and recovered as many as 18 pieces of the body on the same day. Ribika was killed on 16 December 2022, and an electric cutter was used for chopping the body. He allegedly chopped her into more than fifty pieces.
Notably, the police arrested six more members of his family including his parents Mustakim and Mariyam; Dildar’s first wife Gulera; and Dildar’s siblings Ameer, Mehtab and Shareja.