The body of a 45-year-old Delhi Police head constable (HC), out on night patrolling duty, was recovered from a public park in southwest Delhi's Dwarka on Thursday morning.
Brutally stabbed to death, as many as 27 times as per his preliminary medical examination, HC Kailash Chander was patrolling Dwarka's sector 1 area when the incident took place. Needless to stay, the area's residents are appalled by the brazenness of the incident.
"He was one of the most well-known officers in our area and had played a major part in curbing petty crime in improperly-lit by lanes in and around our sector," said Pankaj Kumar, a resident of Ministry of External Affairs Apartments in sector 2.
Senior police officers believe Chander was killed subsequent to a scuffle, either after intercepting and attempting to stall a local gang from perpetrating an incident, or by a vengeful bunch of criminals who wanted him to pay with his blood for putting them behind bars.
"We were informed about the incident by a local resident, an Indian Army officer walking his dog, after he spotted a 'uniformed man' lying in a pool of blood in the neighbourhood park at 5:40am," said Anil Kumar Ojha, deputy commissioner of police (southwest).
As per initial investigation, after leaving Dwarka (south) police station at 12:30pm, the officer last spoke to a local watchman who told him he had seen three men on a motorcycle headed towards a Mother Dairy booth which had been targeted by armed robbers three months ago.
"He was one of our most able officers. Not only did he know the profile of active local criminals like the back of his hand, but his efficiency resulted from the fact that he knew the exact topography of the area," DCP Ojha said.
Posted at the Dwarka (south) police station since it was sanctioned in November last year, HC Chander, hailing from Manan village in Rajasthan's Alwar, had interacted with a PCR van at 2am leading investigators to believe that he was slain between two and five.
In order to avoid being tracked through technical surveillance, the assailants left his mobile phone, ATM card and motorcycle near his body but are yet to recover his licensed service revolver and wallet.
"We have formed a team of more than seven inspectors from different police station in the district to look into the matter. At least 50 small-time, local criminals have been questioned in relation to the incident," DCP Ojha added.