A domestic help who was sacked after he contracted tuberculosis and his friend have been arrested for murdering an elderly woman in south Delhi’s Kalkaji on Monday.
Harmeet Kaur, 71, was found dead in her flat on Monday morning. Cash and jewellery worth Rs1 crore was also missing from the house.
Footage from a CCTV camera installed at a nearby house helped the police zero in on the accused -- Anil Kumar Sharma, the domestic help, and his friend Krishna -- in less than 15 hours after Kaur was murdered.
Both Sharma and Krishna are natives of Jharkhand’s Chatra and were staying in Delhi for the past few years. They were hiding at Sharma’s relative’s house in Jaipur.
The police claimed to have recovered the robbed cash and jewellery.
During questioning by the police, Sharma said that was angry with his employers as they had allegedly sacked him around six months ago because he was suffering from tuberculosis (TB).
He told the police that his employers threw him out despite knowing that he was the sole bread earner for his family. He said they did not consider the fact that he needed money to buy medicines, said a police officer.
“Sharma was also upset because he needed money for his sister’s marriage,” said the officer.
Deependra Pathak, joint commissioner of police (southwestern range), said Sharma used to call up Kaur even after losing his job. As he had worked at the house for over a year, he knew where the family kept their valuables.
“Sharma knew the places where the family members kept cash, jewellery, and other valuables. Before executing their plan,Sharma and Krishna went around the house for 3-4 days,” said Pathak.
On Monday afternoon, Sharma sent Krishna to Kaur’s house since he knew she would be alone. Sharma told Krishna to pose as a courier boy because he knew Kaur did not open the door to strangers, except for parcels.
“As planned, Krishna convinced Kaur to open the house. Sharma, who was following him, pushed the elderly woman inside and pinned her down on the floor. When she attempted to raise an alarm, the duo wrapped her face with a bedsheet and smothered her,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, DCP (southeast).
When Kaur fell unconscious, Sharma took out the almirah’s keys and stole the jewellery. They ransacked the house and fled with R2.30 lakh in cash, jewellery worth over R1 crore and 10 wrist watches. The door got automatically locked when they left the house.
Kaur’s new help, Lalit, was taking a bath in his quarter on the top floor when the incident took place. When his knocks went unanswered, he called up Kaur’s daughter-in-law. When she opened the door, Kaur was lying dead on the floor.
Initially, the police suspected Lalit but their attention turned towards Sharma when the CCTV footage showed him outside the house at the time of the crime.
“The accused took all precautions but failed to locate the CCTV cameras,” Pathak said.