Seventy two-year-old Dharampal Jindal fought back after each consecutive blow to his upper body with the shiny, 12-inch knife used to kill him at his north Delhi residence on Wednesday night.
“He had deep cuts on both palms suggesting he tried to fight-off his assailant by grabbing the knife and pushing him off balance,” said a senior police officer.
Police said the resilient senior citizen was struck thrice by the sharp-edged weapon — first on the back of his skull, then on his left cheek and finally on the neck — by the assailant who left him in a pool of blood at his ground-floor apartment in Civil Lines.
“He was quite active and agile for his age,” said Tarun Gupta (45), his son-in-law as he waited for the post mortem report outside Tis Hazari Mortuary.
Jindal's wife had passed away in 2008.
Jindal had returned home after one of his frequent visits to his daughter Usha Gupta's (45) house in Rohtak, Haryana.
“He visited us often — by train or bus, whenever he had the time. His old age stopped him from driving long distances, but not from visiting Usha. He loved her a lot,” said Gupta.
Jindal, a former dealer in scientific instruments, did not have cordial relationship with his son.
"The last time I met him was about six months ago," said Omprakash Jindal (54), the slain businessman's son and resident of Anand Vihar.
He runs a scientific instruments factory at Sahibabad and was allegedly involved in a property dispute with him.
"I'm not in a position to say whether the assailant had any enmity with my father. We were not in touch,” he said.
Police said they were suspecting that someone close to Jindal was behind his murder.
“He was in the habit of changing his domestic help frequently. None of his former servants were verified and some payment to some of them was also due,” said the officer.
Police said the friendly entry and injuries on the body — broken teeth and cut marks on fingers and hands — suggest that the murder followed an argument with a known person.