A 65-year-old man, who had forced out his house five years ago, was arrested by Delhi Police on Wednesday for drugging people and then stealing their belongings.
Police said chronic illness, coupled with differences with family members, had forced accused Chander Mohan Gupta out of his house and turned him into an alleged criminal. Gupta stole money so that he could provide for his temporary accommodation in guest houses, food and medicines, mostly.
Last week, a team of crime branch of Delhi Police arrested Gupta from Chandni Chowk while he was looking for a potential victim to drug and loot.
Police said they were on the lookout for a gang that stole cash and belongings of people mostly from government hospitals after drugging them.
Gupta, an investigator said, was suffering from sleep disorder for over a decade. His doctor had prescribed him Lorazepam tablets. “As Gupta knew that Lorazepam was a potent sleeping pill, he started using it to drug unsuspecting victims. A single dose of the tablet mixed in juice or soft drink could knock a person out in 4-5 minutes,” an officer said.
He added that Gupta then sold the belongings of his victims to make money.
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His arrests came following information received by the crime branch that an elderly man suspected to be involved in similar crimes, would come near fawara chowk in Chandni Chowk. Accordingly, a trap was laid and Gupta was caught as he was trying to befriend a victim, police said.
“Two stolen mobile phones, an ATM card and 30 sleeping pills were recovered from Gupta’s possession. His interrogation has helped police connect three cases of drugging and theft reported under Hauz Khas and Safdarjung Enclave police stations in south Delhi,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police (crime).
According to the police, two of the crimes were reported from AIIMS, while one took place at Safdarjung Hospital.
During interrogation, Gupta disclosed that in January 2017, he went to AIIMS where befriended his first vuictim.
“After talking to the man for a bit, Gupta offered him a bottle of flavoured milk spiked with sleeping pills. The man consumed the drink and fell unconscious. Gupta later made away with his belongings, including two mobile phones, two ATM cards and Rs 40,000 in cash,” said Yadav.
Further interrogation of Gupta revealed that he had committed a similar crime in September 2015 when he had targeted a man, after offering him a spiked juice. In that case, he had made away with the man’s two mobile phones along with some cash.
“Gupta was arrested in 2011 by the Safdarjung Enclave police. In 2013, a city court declared him a proclaimed offender as he had jumped bail and failed to turn up for court proceedings,” the officer added.