In November 2019, a 20-year-old event manager, Nancy Chopra, went missing from her home. Her husband Sahil (21) told everyone they had taken a trip to Paris. His family told her parents that the couple didn’t wish to stay in the city due to financial woes and went elsewhere to begin afresh. Nancy’s parents, already upset with her for marrying Sahil seven months earlier, decided to not pursue the matter. It was close to two weeks later, when they couldn’t get a hold of her, that they filed a complaint. By then, she was dead — her decomposing body was found with gunshot wounds near a refinery in Panipat’s Dadlana village.
It was her phone’s GPS location and a ‘sad selfie’ she sent to a friend that led police to the killers.
Recounting the case, police said Nancy and Sahil met at a resto-pub in 2016-17 and the couple moved in together soon after to an apartment in West Delhi. In March 2019, after Nancy’s parents disapproved of their relationship, they eloped and got married in March 2019.
Later, Nancy and her parents made amends and all was well — until Diwali. Police said on November 10, her father called to invite her home but her phone was switched off. He then called Sahil who said they were in Paris. Over the next 15 days, Sahil and his family allegedly lied several times to mislead Nancy’s parents.
A senior police officer from the West district said the woman’s family came to them much later to file a complaint. “We called the husband and he said there were issues in the family. We thought she either fled with some money or left the city to avoid her parents. We started looking for her but there were no clues…,” said the officer.
It was then that one of Nancy’s friends sent a selfie to investigators. “It was a photo of a tear-faced Nancy, which she sent to her friend on November 10. We analysed their chat and found that Nancy sent the photo with instructions to her friend that she should save it in case something goes wrong. We grew suspicious and started questioning all family members and friends,” added the officer.
Her husband again said he had no information. Then, police found that Nancy’s last known location was Panipat, Haryana. Investigation also revealed that Sahil’s cousin, Shubham, was in the same area around the time Nancy went missing.
Investigators said all their phones and social media accounts were checked. Inquiry revealed that the couple had a strained relationship after marriage over dowry demands and other issues.
On November 10, Sahil allegedly called Shubham and his driver Badal. “It was confirmed that the woman left the home with her husband and his cousin. They tried to mislead us but we knew something was wrong. Their location was near Dadlana village. All of them work and live in Delhi and it was unusual for them to go to a remote village. After sustained questioning, Sahil finally broke down and confessed to the crime,” said another investigator.
Police then rushed to Panipat and recovered Nancy’s body. Police also seized a Chevrolet car and pistol — both belonged to Sahil.
Special Commissioner of Police Shalini Singh, who was Joint CP at the time, said, “When the complaint came to us, we were led to believe that the woman fled or left due to family issues. We had sympathised with the husband. However, a technical investigation revealed that the husband was involved; we had photos and call records to prove this. He was finally nailed with the evidence and confessed to the murder. Almost 17 days later, we recovered the weapon and car on his instance.”