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Techie cuffs on Bengal duo

Chennai, Feb 25: Two construction workers from Bengal have been arrested for the murder of 24-year-old Uma Maheswari, a TCS employee whose partially decomposed body was found on the outskirts of Chennai on Saturday.

The two — Uttam Mandal and Ram Mandal — have confessed to sexually assaulting the woman and murdering her, a police press note said. The two had also stolen her mobile phone and credit card.

Sources said two other men who had assaulted Uma had rushed back home to Malda and a police team from Chennai has left for Calcutta to follow the leads. Police, however, refused to confirm this.

Uma, who had been working with TCS for a year and lived with friends near the office in Siruseri, was missing and her phone was switched off since February 13 when she did not take the office cab back home. Her family lives in Salem.

Uma’s father came to Chennai after the office called him to ask if she had gone home. Her father and TCS filed a missing person complaint. Her body was found after a passerby alerted the police to a foul stench coming from a bush in a desolate spot near the IT Park in Siruseri, 20km from Chennai, where she worked.

Police sources said the two men, who are in their twenties, were arrested on “specific evidence and intelligence.” They had used Uma’s credit card and also her mobile phone after replacing the SIM card. By tracking the credit card transactions at two shops in the Kelambakkam area and the phone’s IMEI number, the police were able zero in on them, the sources said.

The men had moved to Chennai only last month and were part of a group of migrant workers who had arrived from Bengal for construction work. “The group had seen this girl a few times and on February 13, when they saw her alone, they overpowered her, sexually assaulted her and then stabbed her to death,” said a senior police officer.

Since the lower half of the body had decomposed heavily, sexual assault could not be established during post-mortem.

The two will be remanded in court on Wednesday. The police had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh to anyone giving useful clues but did not say if this had helped.