No one could have thought that a carriage on an Innova and the three words ‘Om Sai Ram’ on its windshield will lead the Panchkula Police to solve a murder and robbery case that, initially at least, offered no clue.
Now, as the prime accused — Iqbal Ahmed, and Mohd Abid — cool their heels in jail within two weeks after they murdered a jeweller’s son in Kalka inside his shop and decamped with Rs 50-lakh jewellery, police have revealed the clues that helped them crack the case.
“It was only the black-and-white CCTV footage of Toyota Innova which ultimately led investigators to accused,” said Panchkula deputy commissioner of police Anil Dhawan.
Crime Investigation Agency (CIA)-2 in-charge inspector Arvind Kumar handled the case.
The first step, CCTV and more CCTV
To start their investigation, the police scanned CCTV footage of cameras at the jewellery shop. It was then known that a Innova was used in the crime, but the registration number was not visible. “There was a carriage on the top. And something was written on the windscreen. We later found it was ‘Om Sai Ram’. There were no wheel covers. We had just this,” said Arvind, adding that even the vehicle’s colour could not be seen in the footage.
Later, the police found that,Jagdish Kumar of the had driven the accused in the Innova and dropped them outside the jewellery shop. He had waited for some time outside the shop and then had driven away till the Kalka bus stand.
Inspector Arvind scanned all the CCTV footages of the Kalka market till Chandimandir toll plaza. A CCTV near Chandmimandir had the Innova’s footage at 5.36am on July 5. At the same point, footage shows Innova had entered Kalka around midnight.
“Footage at Dappar toll plaza was scanned and finally at the Panipat toll plaza, we had a clear view of the accused and the registration number of the vehicle was found to be of Delhi,” said Dhawan.
The owner was traced and Jagdish was nabbed. The owner claimed he had loaned his SUV to Jagdish for some months.
He told the police that he and Abid had stayed at a hotel in Dadua village in Chandigarh on June 3 when they postponed their plan for the crime due to the rain. Their IDs have been found in hotel records.
“After the murder and loot, Abid had called Jagdish, who had reached Ambala to get some passengers for Delhi. Then, they all went to Delhi. After Jagdish’s arrest, Ahmed and Abid were also nabbed soon,” the DCP said.
The police claim Abid, who had done a recce of Kalka, knew welding and had previously robbed hardware shops in Madhya Pradesh, Faridabad, Ludhiana, Rewari.
A 19-year-old youth, Shivam Verma, was bludgeoned to death during a robbery at his father’s jewellery shop on the intervening night of July 4 and July 5. Jewellery worth Rs 50 lakh was looted