Two men, one of whom is a painter who had whitewashed her east Delhi residence two months ago, were arrested for allegedly murdering 79-year-old Anna Mammen, the mother of a prominent Delhi lawyer, police said on Saturday.
“The arrested duo has been identified as Samir Khan (20), and Imran (21) alias ‘Murgi Chor’ (poultry thief). They confessed to have murdered Anna Mammen at her residence in Vivek Vihar on Tuesday with the sole intention of robbing her of cash and valuables,” said a senior police officer.
An English teacher who retired from central Delhi’s Mater Dei School, Mammen was the mother of Rebecca John, who is defending
Dr Rajesh and Dr Nupur Talwar in the Aarushi murder case. She was found murdered at her ground floor residence in Vivek Vihar’s C block, where she used to live alone, on Tuesday afternoon.
Though more than hundred persons were questioned by the local police during the course of investigation, ultimately it was a parallel investigation launched by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell that bore fruit.
“We nabbed the duo during an exercise which required us to monitor robber gangs active in the trans-Yamuna area. It was during this exercise that inputs about a robber, who was understood to be active in the Mayur Vihar area, later identified as Samir were received,” said Arun Kampani, deputy commissioner of police (special cell).
Police said Samir was reported to have been spending a lot of money two days after Mammen was murdered. “He was also seen moving around on a brand new motorcycle in addition to spending a lot of money suddenly. So we detained him and he confessed to the crime during interrogation. Later, we arrested Imran at Samir’s instance,” DCP Kampani said.
According to police, Imran’s father had taken-up a contract of whitewashing Mammen’s house in mid-January.
“Imran had worked at her house after his father took-up the job and had got familiar with Mammen’s daily routine. He made-up his mind to rob her when he realised that she was an easy target and was likely to put-up least resistance,” Kampani added.
Except Rs 50,000 in cash, that the duo claimed to have lost in gambling, the police recovered four gold bangles, two gold rings, two gold chains, two gold biscuits, a gold locket and a motorcycle purchased from the robbed cash in addition to Rs 81,000 cash from Imran and Samir’s possession.