It was a mid-December afternoon when the Berasia police station was informed about a body that was found in the forests near Kararia.
The police personnel who reached the spot saw several deep wounds on the victim’s body. It was clear that this was a case of murder.
Local residents failed to identify him. Reports about missing people that had been registered at different police station in Bhopal in the last couple of days were scanned.
The deceased’s age, the dress and his appearance, together matched a missing man - Ajay Agarwal. Agarwal’s family members were informed about the body.
His brother-in-law and a couple of other relatives rushed to the police station. They identified the deceased as Ajay alias Dabbu, a 30-year-old.
Ajay lived in Ibrahimpura in the Walled City. His father owned a shop on Marwari Road. As the family members were visibly in a state of shock, police didn’t quiz them at length initially.
The deceased’s father Ramesh Chandra Agarwal said that his son had left home at around 4 pm. He said that Ajay had said that he was going out with friends and had taken Rs 2 lakh along with him.
It was not a small amount. The first thought that came to policemen was that robbery could have been a motive. The family members also suspected that he might have been killed for money.
The incident added to the woes of police as they were already under pressure to crack the case of sensational murder of an elderly woman Meera Ahuja.
Now within days, there was a fresh case of murder. Further, the traders’ organisations were now vocal in their criticism of the police, as there were thefts in Sarafa also.
As per the post-mortem report, a sharp- edged weapon was used to attack Ajay repeatedly. He was stabbed in the chest and stomach. Also, there were injury marks on the head.
The investigators were clueless as to why Ajay had gone to Berasia? Or did he go elsewhere but was later brought here and killed? There were no answers yet.
Ajay took little interest in the family business and spent more time outside. The family said that he often took money and spent it lavishly. Surprisingly, the kin couldn’t tell much about his friends.
As more information about Ajay trickled in, police found that he didn’t keep good company. He was married a couple of years back but his wife had barely stayed with him for a few weeks. She had gone back to her parents, never to come here again.
During the course of investigation, an informer told police that he had heard somewhere that it was a case of contract killing and someone had paid an amount to get him murdered.
A man arrested for a crime a few days back had claimed that he had been given the ‘supari’ to kill Ajay earlier but as he got arrested, he couldn’t do the job.
The telephonic records and his cell phone location were also being scanned. Technical analysis gave police a certain pattern and on the basis of it, Man Singh, who worked at Agarwal’s shop, emerged as a suspect.
When the police called him and began interrogating Singh, he initially denied his role. But following intensive grilling, he confessed that he was instrumental in the killing.
He said that another person, Lakhan Singh, was his accomplice in this murder. Singh said that Ramesh Chandra Agarwal’s close confidante and ‘munim’ Uttam Chand Jain had given the ‘supari’ of Rs 3 lakh for the job.
Jain was immediately rounded up. He had even given Rs 60,000 as advance to Singh for planning and executing the crime. But the real stunner was yet to come.
Singh said that as per plan, he lured Ajay alias Dabbu by telling the latter that he would take him along for party - liquor and fun at a desolate place.
That he was aware of Ajay’s lifestyle and hence knew how the latter would come with him. Ajay rode his twowheeler towards Berasia, with Singh pillion riding.
On way, they met Lakhan, and the trio had a drinking session in the jungles. But there was no more fun for Ajay. As he got drunk, Singh and Lakhan attacked him, repeatedly stabbing the victim.
When he died, Singh called up the ‘munim’ and told him that the work was done. Subsequently, Ramesh Chandra Agarwal was informed about the killing of his son. Now everything was crystal clear. The police held a press conference claiming to have cracked the complex murder case. They said that it was the father who had planned the entire conspiracy because he was fed up of his son’s activities.
The son splurged money on drinking and more than that his homosexuality made him unacceptable to the family. His wife had left him and he didn’t pay attention to the family or business.
Even worse, he allegedly used to beat up his father whenever the elderly man asked him to mend his ways. Ajay also forcibly took away money from house and the shop.
Police said that as per earlier plan, a case of missing person was registered on the father’s complaint and the false story about Ajay taking away Rs 2 lakh, mentioned in the FIR, in order to divert the attention of police.
The aim was that police would focus elsewhere and believe that he was killed for the cash. The two-wheeler was brought back soon after murder and parked at Ibrahimpura, to give a further twist.
However, the mystery was unravelled within days. The knife used in the crime was recovered and so were other evidences. Apart from the deceased’s father, three other persons - Man Singh, Lakhan and Uttam Chand Jain, were arrested for the murder.