Manoj’s relatives are traversing through Punjab and Haryana in search of him. A decomposed body matching Manoj’s description turned up in Ambala (Haryana) on Wednesday, but his kin sensed it was a false alarm as unlike Manoj the deceased had tattoos.
Manoj, who lived at Thakur Complex with wife and three daughters, often travelled to cities on business. On October 12, he left for North India. Relatives said Manoj visited business acquaintance Paramjeet Singh’s shop in Jalandhar for taking orders on October 15. Till 5pm, Manoj was in touch with office staff on WhatsApp but he was unreachable at night when business partner Rakesh Jain tried to call.
“We tried several times that night. Samta Nagar police noted down details but suggested we complain to Jalandhar police, as he had gone missing there,” Manoj’s brother Mukesh, said.
Mukesh reached Delhi on October 17 with Jain. “After inquiring in Delhi, we went to Ambala, and then Jalandhar. On the way, we left Manoj’s photograph and details at police stations,” said Mukesh.
On the night of October 18, Mukesh met Singh and confirmed his brother had been there three days earlier. Jalandhar police made a diary entry on the basis of a statement by Singh’s son, Gurpreet. After analysing Manoj’s phone records, police traced his last location to Bhankarpur in SAS Nagar district of Punjab, 175km from Jalandhar, on October 15.
Ambala police told the family on Wednesday that a decomposed body was found near a toll plaza on National Highway 44, so Mukesh and Jain rushed there. Based on clothes and shoes, Mukesh initially believed it was his brother but an autopsy at a government medical college in Haryana’s Sonepat on Thursday found the words ‘Sonu aur Asha’ tattooed on the deceased’’s arms. Mukesh said his brother had no tattoos.
Mukesh told TOI Jalandhar police were proceeding very slowly in the investigation and were not prompt in searching for his brother. “On the day he went missing, Manoj was to return to Delhi to head back to Mumbai. We have no clue about his whereabouts,” said Mukesh.
Mumbai police are coordinating with Jalandhar police and keeping Manoj’s wife informed.