The 31-year-old taxi driver, whose body was found in a canal in Rajpura on Saturday, was stabbed to death by a man and his wife for pursuing her despite her rejection, police said on Monday.

Satvir Singh, the victim. (HT)

After murdering the victim, Satvir Singh, hailing from Kandala village, Kharar, the accused, also hailing from the same village, drove to Rajpura in his Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, tied up his body in the back seat of the car and pushed the vehicle into the Bhakra canal.

With the help of the victim’s phone call details, police managed to trace and arrest the accused, Major Singh, his wife Kulwinder Kaur and their son Karanvir, within two days of the body’s discovery. Police are also on the trail of Major’s friend Karan of Jagatpura area, the fourth accused.

The victim, who plied taxi around Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport in Mohali, had been missing since September 13, with his mobile phone also switched off.

When he didn’t return home as per daily schedule, his father, Surinder Singh, tried to locate him himself for a few days, but in vain. The father then informed the police about Satvir’s disappearance.

During investigation, police received information that a white Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (PB-01-D-3332) was spotted in Bhakra canal near Khanpur village in Rajpura, Patiala.

As the car belonged to Satvir, IT City SHO Sarabjit Singh Cheema reached the spot with Satvir’s father.

As divers fished out the car from the canal, Satvir’s body was found tied in the back seat, with multiple stab wounds on his body, said DSP (City 2) Harsimran Singh Bal, while addressing a press conference in Mohali on Monday.

During the course of investigation, police secured Satvir’s phone call details, which led them to Major and his wife. They, along with their son, were arrested while they were planning to escape the city, he added. Major previously used to operate a bus at the airport.

‘Wanted to elope with woman, but was rejected’

As per investigators, Kulwinder Kaur was in an extra-marital relationship with Satvir, who wanted her to elope with him.

However, Kulwinder turned him down, snapped all ties with him and blocked his phone number. During interrogation, Kulwinder’s husband Major revealed that despite his wife’s rejection, Satvir did not relent and sent him an objectionable video of her.

This infuriated him and he decided to kill Satvir, they said.

Major’s 19-year-old son Karanvir and his friend Karan then hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Satvir. They invited him for drinks on September 13.

After consuming liquor, Major, his son and Karan attacked Satvir with a sword and iron rods, killing him on the spot. They then put the body in the car, drove it to Rajpura and dumped it in the canal. Kulwinder was arrested for conspiring with the killers.

DSP (City 2) Harsimran Singh Bal said the weapons used in the crime had been recovered. All accused have been booked under Section 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Notably, this is the third murder involving a taxi driver in Mohali in the past four months.

On July 31, a taxi driver, Dharampal, 35, a resident of Zirakpur, was stabbed to death in Mullanpur by a robber who was planning to snatch his car by posing as a passenger.

On May 3, through a similar modus operandi, two Class-4 employees of a private hospital in Mohali had stabbed a taxi driver to death after booking a ride and dumped his body in a manhole before making off with the vehicle.

The victim, Dayanand Sharma, 21, hailed from Una in Himachal Pradesh and was living in Phase 7, Mohali.

Mohali police had solved both the cases with the arrest of three men.