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Elderly couple murdered in Ashok Vihar

Police suspect role of newly-hired attendant who is at large

September 02, 2017 11:03 pm | Updated 11:03 pm IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 02/09/2017: Relatives and neighbours of an elderly couple murdered in Ashok Vihar Phase-III, in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

NEW DELHI, 02/09/2017: Relatives and neighbours of an elderly couple murdered in Ashok Vihar Phase-III, in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A septuagenarian couple was found murdered at their residence in north-west Delhi’s Ashok Vihar on Saturday morning. The police said they are looking for the 25-year-old domestic help, who was hired by the couple less than a week ago.

The house was found ransacked and locked from the outside, the police added.

A case under Section 302 (punishment for murder) and 395 (Punishment for dacoity) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered at Bharat Nagar police station.

Ram Lal Bhutani (79), a retired government official in the Ministry of Finance, and his wife Kaushal Bhutani (75), a retired government schoolteacher, had been living in Deep Enclave for the last 25 years and had hired Dinesh on August 27 as their night attendant.

Mr. Bhutani had been bed-ridden for nearly four years due to heart problems and required round-the-clock assistance.

The murders came to light after Mr. Lal’s brother-in-law S. L. Chawla made his usual call to the couple around 6 a.m. on Saturday.

When the Bhutani’s did not pick up the phone after repeated attempts, Mr. Chawla called the day attendant.

“Around 7.40 a.m., I called Dulal Sarkar, their attendant who works from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., to check if he knows why they were not picking up the phone. He said he is in Azadpur and would call Dinesh to check,” he said.

When Mr. Dulal called Dinesh, the suspect told him that he had taken Mr. Lal to a nearby hospital as he had complained of feeling sick.

“I rushed to the residence and found it locked from the outside. I then approached a neighbour to ask if she knows which hospital my brother-in-law was taken to. She, however, said she did not know anything about the matter,” Mr. Dulal said.

‘Phone switched off’

Meanwhile, Mr. Chawla called Sunder Lal Hospital where Mr. Lal was being treated for a heart-related disease.

“But the Hospital authorities told me they hadn’t reached and when we called Dinesh again, his phone was switched off. That’s when we got scared and decided to call the police,” said Mr. Chawla.

When the police reached the spot, they broke open the locks and found the bodies of Ms. Bhutani and Mr. Lal lying in their room.

“The woman had an injury near her head as if she was stabbed from behind. The man did not have any visible injuries. The bodies have been sent for post mortem, which will establish the cause of death,” said a police officer.

The family members claimed that Dinesh wasn’t hired by any agency but through local contacts.

Jaan pehchan se hire kiya tha usko. Mujhe nai lagta koi agency involved thi (He was hired through known people. I don’t think there was involvement of any agency),” said Mr. Chawla.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (north-west) Milind Mahadeo Dumbere said that Dinesh’s mobile phone has been switched off and his parents don’t know where he is.

“His parents live in Jahangirpuri and they told us they weren’t in touch with him. He used to live near Bhalswa Dairy. We are checking his suspected hideouts to nab him,” he said.

The couple are not survived by any children as they got married in their 40s.

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