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Delhi designer’s alleged killer was upset over pay cut from Rs 2,000 to Rs 800: Cops

Investigating officials said that prime accused Rahul Anwar told them during interrogation that his daily wage had been reduced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 800 by the 53-year-old boutique owner.

delhi Updated: Nov 17, 2018 10:02 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Designer,Delhi designer murder,South Delhi
Mala Lakhani and her domestic help were found dead at her house in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj on November 14.(ANI Photo)

A Delhi Police team investigating the murder of a 53-year-old boutique owner Mala Lakhani in south Delhi said the prime accused claimed he killed the woman because she had allegedly reduced his wage and would regularly “insult” him in front of other workers.

Investigating officials said that prime accused Rahul Anwar told them during interrogation that his daily wage had been reduced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 800 by Lakhani.

Anwar, 25, along with his aides Rehmat, 20, and Wasim, 24, murdered Lakhani late on Wednesday night at a workshop inside her house in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj Enclave. The three men also murdered Lakhani’s 50-year-old domestic help Kishan Bahadur.

An investigating officer, who wished not to be identified, said Anwar claimed he worked on at least 10 to 15 women’s suits a day. Lakhani initially paid him Rs 150-200 for each suit.

“Anwar said he worked on at least 10 to 15 suits a day, which meant he used to make Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 a day. He claimed that for past 3-4 months, Mala had been irregular with payments. He alleged that lately, she had started paying him Rs 500 to Rs 800 a day regardless of how many suits he made. The payment was often delayed and then paid at intervals of 2-3 days. This also led to minor altercations between Anwar and Lakhani following which she had allegedly scolded him in front of others,” the officer said.

Delhi police arrested the three accused in the murder of 53-year-old fashion designer Mala Lakhani and her domestic help, at Vasant Kunj police station in New Delhi on November 15. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Devender Arya said that during interrogation, altercation over payment appears to be the only reason behind Mala’s murder.

Another investigating officer said that before surrendering, the three accused sat next to a temple for an hour because they were nervous.

The three had left Lakhani’s house in her Hyundai Verna car and went to a nearby slum to dispose the four knives used in the murders. “There, they changed clothes, threw the four knives, and disposed the fabric with which they had wiped blood off the floor at Lakhani’s workshop. It was around that time that Rehmat started developing cold feet. They sat next to a temple for an hour to discuss possible fallouts and repercussions and finally decided to surrender,” another investigator said.

“Rehmat was the youngest among them. The fear of police and that of their family members being questioned made them think about surrender. Since Anwar and Wasim only had an option to either get rid of Rehmat or surrender, they chose to give up,” the officer said.

First Published: Nov 17, 2018 08:54 IST