A 76-year-old retired vice-principal of a government school was found murdered at his home in northwest Delhi’s Satyawati Colony near Ashok Vihar Phase-III on Sunday morning.
The police suspect that the elderly man was murdered for resisting robbery. The entire house was found ransacked and cash and jewellery missing. His limbs were tied with a rope.
Some injury marks on his body suggested he had fought with the robbers before they tied his limbs, hit him on the head and strangulated him with a piece of cloth. The body was found lying on the floor of the store room on the ground floor, said the police.
Though robbery appears to be the prime motive behind the murder, investigators have not ruled out a property dispute. The entry to the house was friendly that hinted the involvement of someone known to the man, the police said.
Pratap Singh Dahiya retired as vice-principal from a government school in Keshavpuram sixteen years ago. He was registered as a “senior citizen” with the local Bharat Nagar police station. He lived with his wife, Narayani Devi, who is a retired principal from a government school in Bharat Nagar.
Dahiya had been living alone for the past six months. His wife had gone to the US to stay with their two sons and a daughter settled there. The couple’s other daughter lives in Rohini in northwest Delhi.
Vijay Singh, deputy commissioner of police (northwest), said the crime came to light at 9.28 am on Sunday when Dahiya’s domestic help, Babli, found the main door ajar. “She went inside and found her employer lying motionless on the floor. The woman raised an alarm and alerted neighbours, who called the police control room,” said Singh.
A police team immediately reached the spot along with a crime investigation team. The entire house was ransacked. “We did not find any signs of forced entry into the house. Some key evidences have been found at the crime scene. We are examining them for clues,” he said.
A senior police officer said Dahiya was last seen alive on Saturday around 5 pm by his neighbours. His neighbour SP Singh had invited him to attend a religious function organised at his home on Sunday morning.
“Around 9 am, Singh repeatedly rang Dahiya’s mobile phone to remind him of the function, but his calls went unanswered. Presuming that Dahiya might be sleeping, Singh did not check on him. It was the domestic help who discovered the body,” the officer said.
A constable from the local police station met Dahiya on Thursday during his routine visit to meet registered senior citizens in his territorial jurisdiction, the officer said.