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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hunt on for park duo for travel agent killing

Police are still searching for the two men whom travel agent Pratap Kumar had met hours before his murder on Saturday night.

Forty-year-old Pratap, whose bullet-riddled body was found from an isolated spot along NH-33 at Narga village early on Sunday, had met the two at Jubilee Park on Saturday evening. Although his wife Devika was with him, she claimed that she did not know the men. According to Devika, Pratap left the park with the two and asked her to go a Sakchi hotel and wait for him there. However, he did not return.

Police also found out that Devika, who had lodged a complaint with Bistupur police after Pratap went missing, is Pratap’s second wife. The travel agent, a resident of Kalsi Niwas at Uliyan, Kadma, divorced his first wife, a nurse at a city hospital, after 13 years of marriage. Thereafter, he tied the knot with Devika, 18 years younger than him.

“We can get some substantial leads only when the murder victim’s wife reveals something concrete about the two strangers. The woman maintains that she does not know the duo and will be able to identify them if only they are brought in front of her,” said superintendent of police (rural) Rajiv Ranjan Singh.

Devika and Pratap were travelling in a luxury car while the two “strangers”, who took away Pratap along with them, were also in a car.

Police, however, appeared to be not much convinced with Devika’s statement. Questions are being raised about as to how could a man leave his wife alone at a place like Jubilee Park and walk away with some “acquaintances”.

“One thing is certain — it is a well-planned murder. We are questioning Devika again and again about the two men,” said Singh.

On Monday morning, Pratap’s family members took away his body from MGM Medical College after post-mortem was over. Pratap had been shot five times — while one of the bullets hit the victim on his head, the remaining four struck his chest and abdomen.

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