The body of a 25-year-old man was found inside a locked tea kiosk near Udyog Bhawan in the high-security zone of Lutyens’ Delhi, five hours before the Republic Day parade began at Rajpath.
The tea shop where the man’s body was found was barely three hundred metres away from the venue of the parade.
Police sources said the shop was sealed by security agencies two days ago due to security concerns pertaining to Republic Day celebrations.
The deceased was identified as Dew. He worked in the same tea shop where his body was found early on Monday morning. The owner of the shop is one Santosh Pandey.
Police officers are questioning Pandey to ascertain the sequence of events that led to Dew’s death. The police are yet to register a case. But, they have not ruled out the possibility of Dew being murdered.
Police personnel also believe it maybe a case of accidental death as the victim had suffered a fatal head injury. A heavy stone was found lying on his head when the police opened the shop.
“There is a strong possibility that the victim died after a stone kept on the loft within the shop accidentally fell on him. The other possibility is that he was attacked with the stone by somebody,” said a senior police officer.
The body was discovered by members of a bomb disposal squad while they were carrying out the final security drill in the areas adjoining Rajpath before the Republic Day parade began.
“Bomb squad members found a foul smell emanating from the tea shop. The local police was immediately alerted after which several senior police officers along with sniffer dogs arrived there. After a thorough checking from outside, the shop was opened and a man’s body was found inside,” the officer added.
Mukesh Kumar Meena, joint commissioner of police (New Delhi range), told HT, “We have preserved the body in the hospital’s mortuary. The autopsy will be conducted on Tuesday and further action will be taken accordingly.”
On being asked if it was a case of murder, Meena said, “We have not ruled out any possibility. We will take the decision on registration of FIR only after the autopsy report is out. Efforts are on to verify the personal background of the deceased.”