No one would have known of the mysterious goings on in Vinod Kumar Gupta's life if his impulsive Friday night jaunt to one of his properties in Noida had not ended in his own mysterious end.
On Monday morning, the 56-year-old builder's decomposed body — arms tied and mouth gagged with a cloth — was discovered in a semiconstructed property in one of his own plots in Sector 92 of Noida.
Police sources stated with certainty that this was "some deal which he didn't want either his family or even his trusted driver to know about".
"After questioning his driver we came to know that the victim used to make such trips occasionally. Prima facie, it seems the trip was in relation to a property deal that he did not want to divulge. However, things will become clearer when Sonu, who plotted the entire episode, is questioned," said Amulya Patnaik, joint commissioner of police (southern range).
A series of telephonic conversations between the Greater Kailash-III resident and two of his ex-employees from Kunda village in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh district led police to one of the accused trio, Deepak.
"Technical surveillance helped us ascertain the fact that Gupta had been in touch, several times, with two very unlikely people — Sonu and Deepak. Both were residents of Pratapgarh and both were missing from their respective homes," said Ajay Chaudhary, additional commissioner of police (southeast).
Nani Bai (40), a labourer, who, along with some others, stayed in the vacant four-room house (B-156), where the body was found, said, "Around 1pm on Friday, three people parked their car at a distance, walked up and asked us to vacate the house. They got us to talk to someone on the phone and forced us to leave."
Another labourer said that by Saturday a foul stench began emanating out of the house. "We thought a dog or some other animal may have died inside."