(The details of this article may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.)

ITANAGAR: It’s a story fit for a pulp noir crime thriller. With elements of infidelity, money, and murder, it would fit right into the fantasy pages of a Crime & Detective magazine. Unfortunately, the details of this case are all true.

On July 5, graphic images of a partially undressed dead woman found on the banks of the Dikrong river near the state capital of Itanagar began circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp. Police were informed and soon investigations into the mysterious death began.

The police had recovered a wristwatch, an empty wallet, and a pair of sandals from the site but no mobile phone. The woman was identified and her family located soon after. She was a 40-year-old woman living with her husband who worked night shifts and was mother to five daughters and two sons.

One of her daughters had reportedly told her father that the woman had gone to visit a friend of hers the day before at Dikrong Colony in the Nirjuli area, and did not return home that evening. Phone calls made to her had gone unattended.

Call records revealed that the deceased had frequent telephonic conversations with one number in the last few months. The calls of the unidentified person (now the prime suspect) originated from Nirjuli in Arunachal Pradesh and Laluk in Assam.

Now, the mobile phone had been switched off but police detained one Suruj Ali, who frequently contacted the prime suspect Issak Ali, a 29-year-old man from Fatehpur village in Lakhimpur district’s Bangalmara in Assam who worked as a daily wage earner at Lekhi village in Naharlagun.

Statements from Capital Complex Superintendent of Police Tumme Amo reveal that Issak was a bit of a Casanova.

Already married to four women, and a father of four, Issak reportedly married another woman he had met in Arunachal Pradesh, one Rekha Swargiary. Not satisfied, he went on to harbour an affair with Rekha’s cousin, Kalpana Basumatary, who was already married to another man.

By the time two began their affair, Issak was already having a dangerous liaison with the woman now deceased. After his arrest, Issak told police that around 15 months back a chance ‘wrong number’ had led to an affair he turned betrayal.

Issak and the now-deceased woman would often meet in isolated places, often as day faded into darkness. But by now, Casanova Killer and his latest lover, Kalpana, were plotting her murder.

SP Amo told the press that Issak and Kalpana had met at Banderdewa on June 20 and hatched their plot: Issak would lie to the ‘other’ woman and tell her he loved her and wanted to elope with her, asking her to bring 1 lakh rupees.

The deadly duo were not alone in executing their murderous plot, and police have identified several others as conspirators or accomplices, including Hafizul Rehman, Mohammed Raju Ali, and Moina Swargiary.

On July 4, Issak met the unsuspecting woman on the highway near NERIST after dark and took her to the Dikrong river bank. There, Amo said, as the two became intimate, Issak killed her with a stone that his accomplices had already placed at the site.

After murdering her, Issak threw her phone into the river and wiped away all evidence before making his getaway to his home in Assam, sans the 1 lakh he was hoping for, as the woman is said to have shown up without the money for the planned ‘elopement’.

Had it not been for the Capital police and colleagues in Assam, Issak and his co-conspirators would have evaded arrest. But just days after the body was found, police arrested Issak and Kalpana on Tuesday who have since confessed to their crime.

Police also arrested Raju Ali on Wednesday, but Amo said that he is denying any role in the murder.

Investigations are still on.