Circumstantial evidence indicates friendly entry, say Police
A scrap dealer and his wife were found strangled, and cash and valuables were stolen from their house at Subhas Place in North-West Delhi on Tuesday.
The tragic incident came to light around 8 p.m. when a milkman visited the house of Satpal Garg (50) and Ramkali (46). The door was bolted from outside. Suspecting something was amiss, he called up their elder son Sanjay, who was at his brother’s automobile accessories shop in Buddha Vihar.
Sanjay reached the house in a few minutes. He found his father lying unconscious in the drawing room on the ground floor of their two-storey house in Sri Nagar Colony.
“I immediately called out for my mother, but there was no response. I looked around the house and also enquired in the neighbourhood. I had to abandon the search as I thought my father was in need of urgent medical assistance. I rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead,” said Sanjay.
While in hospital, Sanjay requested his neighbours and some relatives over the phone to enquire about his mother’s whereabouts. The neighbours and Sanjay’s cousin rushed to the house where they finally found her in a room on the ground floor that was locked from outside. They broke the lock to discover Ramkali lying on the floor with blood oozing from her earlobes, as if somebody had forcibly removed her earrings.
She was taken to a local hospital in the neighbourhood from where she was referred to Max Hospital. She too was declared brought dead, said neighbour Suresh Goyal.
Mr. Goyal said the locker inside a cupboard in the room where Ramkali was found was locked and the keys missing. They later discovered that some cash and jewellery kept inside it were missing. The relatives alleged that Rs.2.5 lakh and some gold jewellery has been stolen.
The police said circumstantial evidence indicated a friendly entry. They also suspect that the robbers knew the victims’ sons were not at home when they struck. For his part, Sanjay said the family usually left the main entrance to the house open, suggesting that anyone could have entered with ease.
Some unwashed cups found in the kitchen next to the drawing room also suggested that someone had visited the house. The cups have been sent for forensic examination. Based on a complaint, the police have registered a murder-cum-robbery case and taken up investigations.
Sanjay’s younger brother Navin said it appeared that his mother had a scuffle with the attackers as she had injuries on her body besides ligature marks on the neck. Navin had gone to his aunt’s house at Jind in Haryana and returned late on Tuesday night after which he came to know about the incident.
The neighbours said there was some construction activity going on in the neighbourhood due to which vehicles were not allowed to enter the street where the couple’s house was located. Mr. Goyal said the noise made by the concrete mixer made it difficult for the people to hear anything.
Enquiries revealed that Satpal had handed over his scrap business in Tilak Nagar to Sanjay a few months ago. Both Navin and Sanjay said their father had no issues with anyone. The couple has a married daughter.