Singh, a 21-year-old native of Punjab who worked as a security guard in Panaji, has been arrested for allegedly murdering the photographer-turned-perfume specialist on the night of October 5 at her rented flat in Sangolda village in Goa.

 

Singh, nabbed from a Bengaluru hotel two days ago, was brought to Goa on transit remand on Monday night. The accused was produced in a court at Mapusa town on Tuesday, which remanded him to seven-day police custody. He was tracked on the basis of ATM transactions he made at different locations after stealing two cards of the 39-year-old woman and forcing her to reveal their PINs.

 

"The accused has confessed to the crime. He has told the Investigating Officer that for two days he hid on the terrace of the building where Monika lived before forcibly entering her flat on October 5 evening," Deputy Inspector General of Police Vimal Gupta told reporters at police headquarters.

 

Singh, during interrogation, narrated how he tortured Monika throughout the night before strangling her to death. He even tied the victim to a bed and went to the kitchen, where he had boiled eggs for dinner. Gupta said the accused arrived in Goa on April 5, 2016 in search of a job and was employed as a security guard in the complex, where Monica came searching for a rented flat.

 

"The accused was attracted towards Monika since the day she inquired about the availability of a flat in the complex and later followed her movements when she started residing there. After his duty as a security guard, he would wash cars of the residents, including that of Monica," the DIG said.

 

Gupta, who interrogated Singh at Saligao police station in presence of Superintendent of Police (North) Umesh Gaonkar in the morning, said the accused developed a grudge against Monika after he was sacked from the job on July 22, 2016 after being accused of stealing her umbrella.

 

"The security agency, which had employed him, kept on hold his two months' salary amounting to Rs 22,000," the IPS officer said. "After losing his job, Singh worked as a labourer in Ponda town for some time before visiting places like Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai in search of employment but was unsuccessful," Gupta said.

 

During this time, the accused contacted Monika and requested her to tell the security agency to release his salary. She, however, refused to do so. Overcome by anger and sense of revenge over what he perceived as humiliation by the perfumer for his loss of job, Singh went to her residential complex on October 3. He spent two days on her building's terrace looking for an opportunity to get inside her flat and finally succeeded on October 5 at around 6.30 PM, the DIG said.

 

Gupta said the accused had a scuffle with Monika in the bathroom. He then overpowered and tied her to bed and sexually abused her. Fearing Monika will complain to the police, Singh smothered the perfumer to death after forcing her to reveal the PINs of her ATM cards and the password of her mobile phone. The DIG said the woman screamed for help several times during her captivity but no one from the complex could hear it.