Murder of Kolkata model in Bengaluru: Ola driver arrested for crime

32-year-old Pooja Singh De was found dead near the airport's compound wall on July 31, but police had to scour missing persons reports to determine her identity.
Murder of Kolkata model in Bengaluru: Ola driver arrested for crime
Murder of Kolkata model in Bengaluru: Ola driver arrested for crime
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A Kolkata woman was brutally murdered allegedly by a cab driver who tried to rob her on the way to Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on July 31, according to reports. 

The cab driver, HM Nagesh, a resident of Hegganahalli Cross, was caught on August 21 after investigations by the local police. According to the New Indian Express, he had missed out on paying two EMIs on his vehicle load and needed money. 

Pooja Singh De, 32, was a model-cum-event manager who had visited the city on July 30 for an event. She was returning to Kolkata when the brutal crime took place. The victim had been found with head injuries and multiple stab wounds, according to Deccan Herald. . 

Pooja’s body was discovered by villagers near the compound of the airport near Kadayarappanahalli village at about 6.30 am on July 31. They informed the police. She was found wearing a Titan watch, ‘Jealous 21’ jeans and a pair of sandals. Police could not find her handbag, so there was no proof of identification, other than the accessories and clothes she wore. The police then sent teams to Kolkata and New Delhi to scour through missing person reports and established the identity of the victim, as per The Hindu.

Pooja booked the driver via the Ola app on the evening of July 30 from Crescent Road in Kumara Park to a hotel in Parappana Agrahara. She later called the driver separately and asked him to take her to the airport reportedly at about 4 am the next day. He agreed, and she boarded the cab at Hosur Road at 4.15 am. Police say that Nagesh deviated from the main road and demanded money from Pooja. When she refused, he attacked her with a jack rod. He then looked through her bags and pockets but was only able to find Rs 500 and two mobile phones.

He then allegedly attempted to dump her behind KIA near Kaada Yarappanahalli village, but she regained consciousness and tried to escape. However, Nagesh allegedly attacked her again with a knife and a stone, this time fatally. 

Police told media that Pooja had been in the city for event management work. Once Pooja’s identity was determined, with the help of special teams from Delhi and Kolkata, they learnt that she had booked an Ola cab. After this, police were led to Nagesh. 

Police said Nagesh confessed to the crime and police were able to recover the victim’s belongings from him. He has been produced before a magistrate and remanded to judicial custody.

Police have also urged passengers to not individually book rides with cab drivers they meet on trips through cab aggregators. "In this case, the cab driver seems to have felt emboldened as the said trip was not on record with the aggregator," said DCP (North East) Bheemashankar S Guled, according to The Hindu.   

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