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Double murder in Delhi; domestic help held before he could flee

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THE ACCUSED: Double murder accused Mithilesh Kumar Singh in police custody on Friday. - PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR
THE ACCUSED: Double murder accused Mithilesh Kumar Singh in police custody on Friday. - PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Staff Reporter

Brutal end for 12-year-old son of ex-Army officer, grand-aunt inside their home

NEW DELHI: A 12-year-old son of a retired Army colonel and his grand-aunt were brutally murdered allegedly by their domestic help in their Vasant Kunj flat here in the Capital on Friday during a robbery bid in broad daylight.

Twenty-year-old Mithilesh Kumar Singh was all set to flee with a travel bag containing jewellery and cash when Meher, the 15-year-old daughter of Colonel Amanpreet Singh, returned home from school and raised an alarm. The colony's security guard, Bhupender Yadav, along with some passers-by caught Mithilesh and handed him over to the police.

Kitchen knife used

According to the police, the murders took place between 10 a.m. and 12 noon when Col. Singh, his wife and daughter were away. Mithilesh allegedly murdered young Karan and his grand-aunt Surjeet Kaur with a kitchen knife.

Forty-five-year-old Col. Singh, who sought voluntary retirement from the Army last October, works with a private firm in Gurgaon. His wife teaches at a nearby school.

Resident of Bihar

After committing the murders, Mithilesh, a resident of Bihar, allegedly hid the valuables in a travel bag in the garage on the ground floor. When he was about to escape after cleaning up the place, Meher happened to return from her school and enquired about her brother and "Naniji". Mithilesh initially tried to mislead her by saying that "Naniji" had gone to Gurdwara, but then bluntly told her that he had killed the two and would kill her as well.

"At this the girl raised an alarm and the security guard who was on a routine round caught the accused," a police officer said.

After committing the murders, the servant stuffed the body of the old lady into a large wooden box and sprinkled salt over it to prevent decomposition. The kitchen knife with which the murders are suspected to have been committed was also found in the box. The young boy's body was found in a suitcase under a double bed.

No bloodstains

The accused had meticulously cleaned the floor and there were no bloodstains on the first floor of the flat. "In fact, it was difficult to suspect that something wrong had happened in the house. It took us over an hour to locate the bodies," said the police officer.

Vasant Kunj Residents' Welfare Association general secretary Satish Dogra said: "When the servant was trying to hide the bodies, a carton fell down from the balcony of the flat. But when the washer-man who sits under the building went upstairs to inform the servant about it no one opened the door."

`Treated like family member'

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South West) Ravindra Singh Yadav said the servant had been working with the family for the past four years and Col. Singh treated him like a family member. "He was employed by Col. Singh on the recommendation of a colleague in 2002. He had been with the family during the Colonel's postings to Pune and Babina. Col. Singh trusted him so much that he allowed him to sleep inside the house and had never bothered to get his verification done with the police," said DCP Yadav.

Reward for guard

Delhi Police Commissioner K. K. Paul has announced a reward of Rs. 5,000 for the alert security guard and decided to recommend the teenage girl's name for a bravery award, said DCP Yadav.

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