A property dealer was found brutally murdered with at least 36 stab wounds inflicted with an ice pick in his Bolero jeep in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar near a railway crossing in the wee hours of Thursday.
The blood-soaked body of Pritam Singh Seera (50) of village Manakwal, bearing wounds on the throat, face and forehead, was still secured with a seatbelt when it was found.
Three mobile phones and Rs 2.50 lakh belonging to the deceased were missing. It was learnt that the crime came to light when people living in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar locality found the body lying in the car that was parked on the roadside and informed police.
Sarabha Nagar police registered a case of murder against unidentified killers following a complaint by one Lakhwinder Singh and sent the body to the civil hospital for autopsy.
Deputy commissioner of police Gurpreet Singh Toor said police were investigating the crime from all angels. It could be a case of robbery as cash and other belongings of the deceased were missing, he said adding that personal enmity too could be the reason, since Seera was brutally killed.
Police were said to have received information that Pritam Singh was last seen with two persons at around 5.30pm on Wednesday. Police have been trying to identify the duo.
Pritam Singh's family had registered a report with Dugri police station after he was found missing under mysterious circumstances since Wednesday night.
According to his family, Pritam Singh was carrying about Rs 2.5 lakh when he left his house on Wednesday. He talked to his wife on phone at about 8.30pm for the last time. He promised to bring medicine for their ailing daughter when he returned home. Later, his mobile phone was found switched off.
The family waited for him for quite some time, but filed a missing report after they failed to locate him.
"When we reached the spot, Pritam Singh was lying dead in the car. The body was still strapped by a seat belt. After investigating at the spot thoroughly, we sent the body for post-mortem," said Inspector Mandeep Singh, additional SHO of Sarabha Nagar police station.
Murder modus operandi similar to earlier homicide
The weapon used and the manner in which Pritam Singh was murdered was similar to the killing of money exchanger Sukhjinder Singh who was killed by unidentified killers in Rahon Road near Subhash Nagar Chowk on August 17. The killers had fatally stabbed Sukhjinder with an ice pick about 17 times on his throat. Police officials were however tightlipped on the matter. Police officials maintained that it was difficult to say anything as the probe was still at a preliminary stage.