The man who was killed allegedly by his wife and stepson in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri had another wife and eight children in Bhagalpur, Bihar, the police said on Monday.
The victim, Anjan Das, did not earn much and was dependent on the salary of his wife, Poonam Devi, a nurse at a local hospital, for his personal needs. He also stole Ms. Poonam’s jewellery and sent it to his first wife in Bihar, the police said.
According to the police, Ms. Poonam and her son, Deepak, allegedly planned to murder Anjan after getting frustrated with his drinking habit and sexual misconduct with some relatives.
Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said in April this year Ms. Poonam came to know that Anjan allegedly molested and attempted to rape two relatives. On May 30, she and Mr. Deepak allegedly spiked the drink of the victim with sedatives and then stabbed him with a dagger in the neck, chest and abdomen, said the officers probing the case.
‘Head buried in ground’
“The mother confessed that she and her son killed her husband but said that Deepak chopped the body with the same dagger,” a police officer said, adding that the weapon of the crime is yet to be recovered.
The police have recovered some body parts from a ground near the accused’s house in Trilokpuri and an open drain in New Ashok Nagar. The accused allegedly buried the victim’s head in the same ground, said the police.
Mr. Yadav said the victim was Poonam’s third husband. She was first married at the age of 13 to a man named Sukhdev Tiwari, who left for Delhi and never returned home. Poonam arrived in Delhi in 1997 in search of her husband. Here she met a man named Kalyan and got married to him. “Kalyan and Poonam had a son, Deepak, and two daughters, one of whom died when she was four years old,” the officer said.
Kalyan was an alcoholic and did not pay attention to Poonam. In 2011, she met Anjan, a lift mechanic, who lived in the same building in Trilokpuri. “In 2016, Kalyan passed away due to liver failure and Poonam married Anjan. Later, she came to know that Anjan had another family in Bihar,” said the officer.
After killing Anjan, the accused kept the body in the room and the drained the blood in the washroom. A senior police officer added that a Forensic Science Laboratory team has taken blood samples from the washroom to match them with the victim’s blood.
Ms. poonam and Mr. Deepak allegedly dismembered the body a day after the murder and stored the pieces in their refrigerator in separate plastic bags. Sources said the mother and son wanted to get rid of the body quickly and hence used any opportunity they got to dump them in the open ground.
“They used to clean the room with acid and phenyl and sprayed room freshener to mask any pungent smell,” said the senior police officer.
The family’s neighbours said they never saw the mother and son interacting with anyone in the locality.
“They used to pass through the lane carrying something in a polythene bag... We thought they were coming back after buying vegetables. We had no idea what was happening inside their house,” said Lala Ram, a neighbour.
He added that he had not seen Anjan for several months. “It was like Poonam did not have a husband. All we knew about Deepak was that he used to put up a vegetable stall in the nearby market during the lockdown,” he said. Deepak used to work as a waiter at restaurants, said the police.
Another senior police officer said Deepak’s wife and sister knew that “something was wrong” when they stopped seeing Anjan after May.