A 23-year-old civil engineer was strangled to death in west Delhi after a failed abduction-for-ransom bid by his ‘friends’ on April 3, the police said on Friday.
Jhonny Gupta, 23, was murdered hours after his friend of two years, Anoop Kumar, 21, a marketing executive, drew him to a nondescript warehouse in west Delhi. Anoop was joined by a common friend and warehouse owner, Avinash Kumar, 36, and tempo driver Anil Kumar, 26.
Jhonny’s father Ravindra Kumar, a businessman, had recently made a large amount of money through a land deal, which Anoop knew about and saw as an opportunity to make a killing.
But after Jhonny was taken to the warehouse, Anoop left his conspirators in crime on the pretext of some urgent work, fearing that the abduction trail would finally lead to him, the police said.
After he left the scene, Jhonny struggled with the other two in a bid to escape but was overpowered and strangled with a wire by Avinash and Anil. They stripped his body of cash and valuables before dumping it in a pit and splattering it with lots of salt to ensure a speedy decomposition. The duo then left the place after 9pm.
Two hours later, Avinash called Jhonny’s father on the mobile and demanded Rs. 1 crore in exchange for his safe return, which the businessman agreed to pay. Jhonny’s father also approached the police, who tracked down Avinash and Anil that night. The duo led the police to Anoop, who in the meanwhile pretended to commiserate with Jhonny’s family and help them find him.