A 66-year-old man who ran an NGO for stray dogs, his helper and nine dogs were found dead at his farmhouse in Mehrauli, south Delhi, on Friday morning.
The police said the owner of the farmhouse, Vishwant Kumar, helper Shivrath, 27, and the dogs may have died due to poisoning.
Apart from running an NGO called Sai Animals Welfare Ashram from his farmhouse in Satbari area in Mehrauli, Kumar was also a property dealer. He provided shelter to about 80 stray dogs.
At around 9.30 am, police got a call from Kumar’s cook Munna who saw the two men and the dogs lying unconscious. When police reached the farmhouse, they found that all were dead. “It looked like they were poisoned. They had all vomited. The dogs had defecated. There was no forced entry. All valuables were intact. We are exploring the suicide angle, but not ruling out foul play,” said a senior police officer.
Police said Kumar was depressed for the past few days because of his strained relations with his family. Kumar was living alone. He was separated from his wife ten years ago and she had even lodged a case of domestic violence against him. "He was in a legal tangle with his family over a piece of property. This could have also triggered the crime,” said the officer. “His elder son runs a department store and another one is a doctor. His daughter is married. His wife lives in Defence Colony,” said the officer.
“Now that my father has died, I will take care of his dogs,” said Kunal Kumar, Vishwant Kumar’s son.
“On Friday, Kumar returned home at around 11 pm. He asked the security guard to lock the door. We know that he ordered tandoori chicken from a takeaway. We are trying to find out what happened after that," said Anil Shukla, DCP (south).
Police have seized pieces of meat, pesticides and other substances from the house and have sent them for forensic examination.