A 26-year-old unemployed man, who had been on the run after he allegedly raped and murdered his estranged fashion designer girlfriend in Uttar Pradesh's Noida city, has been arrested from Panvel, the police said on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, Shaibaj Mehmood Deshmukh, who was absconding since August 27 in connection with the rape and murder of Lubna Mehmood Siddiqui, 29, was arrested from outside Panvel railway station on Monday, Panvel police station Senior Inspector Datta Patil said.
According to police, Deshmukh had befriended the victim through a social networking site and maintained physical relationship with her.
"The accused told her that he was working on a good position in a reputed hotel in Dubai. However, when the woman learnt that he was jobless, she began avoiding him. He was scared that she would make a rape complaint.
"The accused then asked her to meet him and when they met, he raped her at 'A 11' guest house in Noida and later smothered her to death," the officer added.
According to the police, in April, Deshmukh had befriended the victim on Facebook and exchanged mobile numbers. He went to Noida in April and June, the police said adding that during his second visit, the accused maintained sexual relationship with the victim.
The accused promised to marry her and also spoke to her parents. However, when she spoke to Deshmukh's brother, she learnt that he was unemployed and had also undergone a heart surgery.
Lubna started avoiding Deshmukh, officer Patil said, adding, "Deshmukh was afraid that she would complain against him and trap him in a rape case. He managed to convince her to meet him again and took her to 'A-11' guest house on August 27.
"At about 8:30 pm, he killed her and spent time in the room till 11:30 pm before sneaking out. The next day, the room was opened using a duplicate key by the hotel staff and she was found dead. Using her mobile, the victim's kin in Kanpur was contacted," Patil said.
The accused had also stolen the victim's ATM card and withdrew the entire Rs 13,000 from her account while he was on the run. He had been to Ajmer, Jalgaon, Goa, Kolhapur and Mahabaleshwar, among other places, before coming to Panvel, the police said.
"He was arrested after he confessed to the crime. The accused was produced before a court, which granted transit remand to the Noida police, which is in Panvel," Patil said.
Two days ago, the Noida police had come to Mumbai as part of the investigation when they were informed about the development.