The Delhi Police arrested one person and identified two others in connection with the murder of an Ola cab driver who went missing during a ride from the Capital on August 9. The man’s body was later found in a canal in Mathura, around 60 km away from Agra in Uttar Pradesh where his car was found, police said on Monday.

“The motive of the murder was robbery,” said Nupur Prasad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Delhi). “The first suspect was the person who had booked the cab through his mobile phone. He was traced down to Bijnor [a district in Uttar Pradesh]. During his interrogation, he disclosed the name of his accomplices.”

The arrested person has been identified as Jitesh Kumar, a resident of Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Kumar was arrested on Saturday evening. The police are currently looking for two other men who are absconding.

The police had identified the victim as Mohammad Yousuf, 40, a resident of Delhi. His body was cremated by the police before his family could identify it. The incident had exposed a serious violation of police guidelines according to which an unidentified body must be preserved for a minimum of 72 hours before even being sent for a postmortem.

Yousuf’s family was later given the ashes. The family has accused the police of making no effort to ascertain his identity and of depriving them of their right to conduct the last rites according to their beliefs. They have said they will bury the ashes only when they get justice.

Sequence of events

According to the police, Jitesh Kumar was the first to board Yousuf’s cab after booking it through Ola’s rental service. While the initial investigation suggested that the cab was booked for Alwar, the accused told the police that his plans changed and they were heading towards Agra. By then two more passengers had joined Kumar.

According to the police, the passengers killed Yousuf in a place that comes under the jurisdiction of Oal Police Station in Mathura and robbed him of cash and other belongings, including his mobile phone. Police said Kumar and his accomplices then drove the car to Agra and abandoned it there.

When the police recovered Yousuf’s body, his hands were found tied and there were severe injuries on his head suspected to be caused by a blunt object. The police have found the mobile phone through which the car was booked, but have not yet recovered the weapon used in the murder.