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Elderly missing, land sharks eye home

An 80-year-old retired government official living alone in the CR Park area went missing from his house about a fortnight back, reports Vijaita Singh.

delhi Updated: Jul 07, 2008 02:28 IST
Vijaita Singh

An 80-year-old retired government official living alone in the CR Park area went missing from his house about a fortnight back. The police have launched a search for him and sealed his property worth crores to protect it from land sharks, who are already eyeing it.

"Our main concern is to find him first. But we have to safeguard his property also. We locked the property in presence of the area representatives," said a senior police officer.

Jagat Narayan Sharma, who lived at the posh NRI colony of CR Park area in South Delhi and had a sizable bank balance, had gone for an evening walk on June 23 but never returned. He was living alone in the house after his wife died last year. He had no children and was registered with the senior citizen's cell of Delhi Police. A day before he went missing, Sharma had withdrawn Rs 20,000 from his account.

His domestic help, Usha, said: "When Sharma did not return till late in the night, I contacted the neighbours and informed the police. From the time he has gone missing, we have had strangers coming to the house and asking us about his property and other details. When he was here I never saw these people, no one even came to enquire about his health. All of a sudden there is an interest in him." Usha has been working at Sharma's house for nine years and lives in the servant quarters.

Sharma, who had retired from a senior position in the Union Law Ministry about two decades back, was living a socially active life and was also running a shelter for senior citizens in Noida. He had also translated several law books into Hindi after his retirement.

The police said that they had contacted all the hospitals and mortuaries in Delhi and still had no clues. Sharma had gone into depression after his wife died last year.

"He did not interact much with anyone in the area. Sometimes, he would come to our house and ask for tea. We fear that his life might be in danger," Vivek Sharma, a neighbour said. He added that Usha's lifestyle has changed after Sharma went missing. "She benefits the most after Sharma went missing which puts her role under suspicion," the neighbour said.

Usha maintained Sharma's neighbours seldom talked to him when he was alive but now that he has died, several people visit the house asking for his property details. She said, "They all are eyeing his property."

The police said that they had contacted some relatives of Sharma and were trying to find out whether he was at any relative's place. The also questioned Usha and her husband and were trying to find more leads.