A 29-year-old woman was strangled and her four-year-old son abducted by three unidentified men on Saturday morning during an incident that the police dubbed as a staged robbery attempt gone horribly wrong.
The incident was reported from east Delhi's Mayur Vihar Phase III, near New Ashok Nagar area, around 12:30 pm. The victim was identified as one Mahi, who worked as a freelance journalist and was a housewife.
The police are questioning the victim's husband, Inam, about his alleged involvement in the case. Sources associated with the investigation claimed that he would be arrested after the recovery of his 'abducted' son Eeeshu.
"According to the couple's maid Beena, the incident took place soon after she reported for work around 9am," said an officer investigating the case. He added that three armed men, who had reached Mahi's residence on a motorcycle, barged inside the residence and overpowered her.
Though Mahi apparently tried her best to fend them off, the trio strangled her with an iron wire, rolled her body up in a quilt and left it on the bed before fleeing with Eeeshu.
The housemaid claimed the men ransacked the house and threatened her of dire consequences if she dared report the incident to the police.Beena later rushed to inform the victim's husband who had recently opened a small sari showroom in the same area.
Inam and Mahi, both hailing from Bihar's Saupal, had married against the wishes of their families three years ago. Neighbours claimed that Mahi's parents would visit her often and it was during one of their recent visits that Inam had been given Rs 65 lakh by his father-in-law for his new shop.
"Inam made a PCR call and informed the local police control room about the incident at 12:32pm. A team rushed to the spot to find Mahi's body and took Inam and Beena away for questioning to the police station," the officer said.
It was during simultaneous interrogation that the police realised that there was more to the seeming plot than met the eye. For one, Beena's statements turned out to be completely different than what Inam had to tell the cops.
Secondly, sources close to the investigation said, one of the men allegedly involved in the murder matched the physical description of one of Inam's recently-employed shop hands. What added to their doubt was the receipt of a ransom call demanding Rs 5 lakhs for the safe release of Eeshu.
"We have enough evidence that suggests that this was an insider's job," said an officer.
"The ransacking seems to have been deliberate and a ploy to ensure that investigation be focused on a robbery attempt."
The police said they were waiting for the safe recovery of the child before proceeding further with the probe and investigations were underway.