Delhi Police's claim of having made the capital safe for senior citizens was proved hollow when an elderly couple was on Monday found murdered in their home in south Delhi with the prime suspect, their domestic help hired only this month, missing.
The bodies of Ashok Goel, 65, and his wife Lata, 61, were found lying in a pool of blood in their home in C-Block in Neeti Bagh at around 11 am.
Their daughter Pooja tried to call them up in the morning. As nobody responded, she called up some neighbours who found the house locked from inside. Sensing foul play, her husband Ashish informed police.
“We found the Goel couple dead in their house. Their throats were slit with a sharp-edged weapon,” Deputy Commissioner of Police HGS Dhaliwal said.
According to police officials, Lata's body was found in the drawing room and Ashok's body was found on the way to their bedroom.
"We have sent the bodies for post-mortem examination," Dhaliwal said.
The house was ransacked and their servant Mukesh Yadav, a 20-year-old from Bhagalpur in Bihar, was missing. Police sent a team to Bihar to hunt Yadav.
The weapon used in the crime was found from the spot and was sent for forensic examination.
“The fingerprints on the weapon will be matched with Mukesh's fingerprints given in his verification form submitted to the police two days ago,” an official said.
Ashok, a retired official of the five-star Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi, and his wife were living alone for the last five years after the marriage of their younger daughter Rakhi.
Rakhi was vacationing in Agra and was to come to the couple's home for lunch on Monday.
The couple was said to have changed their servants frequently and Yadav was hired only 12 days back.
The capital has recently witnessed a rising number of violent crimes targeting elderly people. In a number of cases, domestic helps have been suspected.
On May 15, BD Sharma, a 68-year-old former Air India employee, was stabbed to death by his nephew for money. Both his sons are settled abroad.
On May 11, a 70-year-old woman was found murdered in south Delhi, while an interior designer and his son were drugged in south-west Delhi allegedly by domestic helps in separate incidents, before they decamped with valuables. In both cases, police verification of the servants, who are absconding, was not done.
Last year, 16 senior citizens were killed in the capital and the toll is 12 this year so far.
Seeing the rising rate of crime against the senior citizens in the capital, Delhi Police last year launched a service wherein the elderly can register with their local police station. In return the police make house calls, inspect their homes, advise them on security arrangements and verify the background of their domestic help.
So far, about 5,000 senior citizens in Delhi have signed up for this service, but the results are yet to be seen.
Delhi Police have undertaken a two-week drive since May 12 to verify the antecedents of domestic helps employed by senior citizens.
The shocking incident comes days after teenage girl Aarushi Talwar was found murdered in her flat in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi May 13. Her father Rajesh Talwar has been arrested by police and charged with killing her and their domestic help Hemraj.