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A Goa court on Tuesday remanded Rajkumar Singh, accused of murdering 39-year-old perfume specialist Monica Ghurde, in seven days police custody. Singh (21), who hails of Punjab, was arrested in Bengaluru and brought to Goa on transit remand on Monday night. According to a report in The Times of India, the accused told Goa police that he undressed Monica to film her nude after smothering her with the intention of blackmailing her later.
“The accused was produced before Judicial Magistrate First Class, Mapusa, who remanded him in seven days police custody,” police inspector Rajesh Kumar told PTI.
Singh, originally a native of Bhatinda in Punjab, became the main suspect after he withdrew cash from an ATM machine in Porvorim, just 5 kms from the scene of the crime, on the morning of October 6. The perfume specialist was found murdered in her flat near Panaji, following which the Goa police had tracked down the alleged killer and arrested him from a hotel in Bengaluru.
Ghurde was found strangulated to death in her three-bedroom rented apartment in Sangolda village near Panaji. The naked body was recovered on October 6, but investigation revealed she was killed a day earlier.
Singh had stolen two ATM cards of Ghurde besides her mobile phone, and transactions made through them helped the police to track him. The accused was a security guard and had worked in a building complex where Ghurde stayed earlier. The fashion designer-turned-perfumer had been living alone in the flat since July last.
Ghurde had done her photography course from Mumbai’s JJ Institute of Applied Arts. She moved to Chennai in 2009 to pursue her interest in perfumes, and shifted to Goa in 2011. She had set up a perfume-making company, Mo Lab.