The Delhi Police have added murder charges against four accused in the case of the gruesome death of a 20-year-old woman in the city’s Kanjhawala area on January 1, PTI reported on Tuesday.

They were initially charged under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Anjali Singh had died after her scooter was hit by a car. Her body got entangled in the wheels of the vehicle and was dragged along for nearly 12 kilometres. Her naked body was later found in Kanjhawala’s Jonti village.

Seven accused – Manoj Mittal, Deepak Khanna, Amit Khanna, Krishan, Mithun, Ashutosh and Ankush – were sent to judicial custody for 14 days on January 9. Ankush and Ashutosh were granted bail on January 7 and January 17, respectively.

The prosecution in the case has argued that the accused persons were aware of Singh’s body being dragged and that two of them even got down from the car to check what was under the wheels.

On Tuesday, the police said that murder charges have been added against Mittal, Amit Khanna, Krishan and Mithun, who were inside the car at the time of the incident, PTI reported.

An offence of murder may attract death penalty or imprisonment for life and a fine.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and order) Sagar Preet Hooda said that murder charges were added after the collection of physical, oral, forensic and other scientific evidence. “Further investigation in the case is in progress,” Hooda said.

Bail to Ashutosh

Meanwhile, a sessions court in Delhi on Tuesday granted to bail to Ashutosh, reported PTI.

Additional Sessions Judge Susheel Bala Dagar noted that Ashutosh was not present in the car and his role emerged only after the incident.

Ashutosh had moved the court after his bail was rejected by a Metropolitan Magistrate on January 12.

“The accused has been in judicial custody since January 5 and is no more required for custodial interrogation,” Justice Dagar said, adding that he was not expressing an opinion on the merits of the case.

The case

The first information report in the case stated that the car dragged Singh’s body for 12 kilometers from Sultanpuri to Kanjhawala. The 20-year-old woman was returning home at 2 am when the accident took place.

Two of the accused persons, Deepak and Amit Khanna, had borrowed the car from Ashutosh, who in turn had borrowed it from his brother-in-law Lokesh, according to the police.

Ashutosh had told the police that Deepak Khanna and Amit Khanna took the car on December 31 around 7 pm and left the vehicle at his home around 5 am on January 1 after the accident, according to the FIR. The three other arrested men were also present in the car at the time of the accident.

A postmortem report had shown that Singh sustained injuries to her head, spine and lower limbs. It also showed that she had not suffered any injuries suggestive of sexual assault.