Haryana Police have arrested a 26-year-old Panipat man for killing three persons within a span of eight hours on the intervening night of June 11 and 12, officials said on Saturday.

The accused, Ashu, a resident of Panipat’s Nara village, killed the victims, reportedly his friends, between 8pm and 4am and travelled around 60km from the first crime scene in Matlauda of Panipat to Titawi in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli.

The victims are Sonu, 26, who was working with a private contractor in a cement factory, and his two friends — Monu, 25, of Nara village and Rakesh, 27, of Bhalsi village.

Panipat additional superintendent of police (ASP) Vijay Singh said the arrest of Ashu helped them in solving three blind murder cases reported from three different locations.

He said on the evening of June 11, Ashu and Rakesh were going to Nara on a bike when Sonu asked them for a lift and they went to Matlauda.

“There they started consuming liquor and Ashu entered into an argument with Sonu. Amid heated exchanges, Ashu lost his cool and he, with the help of Rakesh, strangled Sonu to death with a cloth and dumped his body behind a roadside shop,” he added.

“Ashu and Rakesh had again started drinking when Sonu’s friend Monu came there and enquired about him. Ashu and Rakesh took Monu to Panipat and on their way, they killed him in the same fashion and dumped his body into a canal. They feared that Monu might tell the police that Sonu was with them,” the cop said.

“Then Ashu asked Rakesh to take him to Haridwar. On reaching Titawi, they stopped at a tube well where he murdered Rakesh as well and dumped his body in the fields before fleeing,” he added.

The police started their investigation into the three blind murders reported in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. During the probe, the investigators came to know that Ashu was with all the three victims on the night of their murder.

The CIA arrested him on June 27 and he was sent to four-day police remand. During his questioning, Ashu admitted that he had killed all three of them while he was under the influence of alcohol.

Rakesh, who Ashu claimed was his ‘best friend’, had helped him in killing Sonu and Monu and he did not want leave any evidence behind, which is why Ashu was also murdered, the police said.

The ASP said they did not find Ashu’s criminal record, but he now faces charges of murder and destruction of evidence.

The bodies of the victims have been handed over to the families after autopsy.

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