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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Murder mystery: How a UP family tracked son 2 months after he came to Delhi looking for job

A youth from UP, who had come to Delhi in search of job, was found dead in Karol Bagh. The police cremated the body. The family of the deceased came to know about it only after a relative in Mumbai tracked him on a police network for missing persons.

delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2017 14:30 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vinod Kumar was a native of Siddharthnagar district in UP. His body was found on a footpath in Karol Bagh area.
Vinod Kumar was a native of Siddharthnagar district in UP. His body was found on a footpath in Karol Bagh area.(HT Photo)

Vinod had come to Delhi in May in search of a job from his native village in UP’s Siddharthnagar district. Two months later, his semi-naked body was found lying on a footpath in Karol Bagh.

Police probe has now shown that two of his friends who had promised him a job in a jeans manufacturing factory in Tank Road area were involved in his mysterious death on July 4.

The case came to light with the Prasad Nagar police getting a call about an unidentified body lying on the roadside in Karol Bagh area. Nobody knew about him and all that the police got from his body as a clue for identification was an ‘Om’ tattoo on the right forearm. There was nothing but an underwear on Vinod’s body.

“We followed the procedure, including issuing hue and cry notices, uploading photographs and details of the deceased on Zonal Integrated Police Network (ZIPNET) to establish the man’s identity. However, nobody came forward to identify and claim the body. We had no option and cremated the body on July 17,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, deputy commissioner of police (central).

But that was not the end of Vinod’s story.

‘Murder’ mystery
A teenager from UP allegedly died in mysterious circumstances in Delhi’s Karol Bagh and his friends tried to cover up his death. The poor family is now waiting for justice.
18-year-old Vinod left his hometown in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar in May in search of a job to support his family
He reached Delhi on May 15 with his friend Dilip and started working at a roadside eatery for a salary of Rs 3,000 per month
Vinod later met Mahender, a native of the same village — of Khurhuriya in Siddharthnagar, UP.
Mahender promised him a Rs 9,000 per month job at a jeans factory on Tank Road, Karol Bagh.
July 5 | Vinod’s semi-naked body was found on a foothpath in a lane on Tank Road. Prasad Nagar police were informed
The police preserved the body at a government hospital mortuary and later got an autopsy done
July 17 | The local police cremated the body
July 29 | A case was registered on the basis of autopsy that showed electrocution and brain damage caused by trauma as cause of death
How Vinod died | Mahender was arrested on July 30 after Vinod’s family claimed he killed him. Mahender told the police that Vinod died of electrocution at the factory. He and a minor friend dumped his body on the footpath and removed his clothes and phone.
The Delhi Police had uploaded Vinod’s photo on the ZIPNET before cremating it. Vinod’s cousin, Ram Avtar, who works with an MP in Mumbai, searched on ZIPNET when he couldn’t contact him for days and came to know that his family also did not know his whereabouts. He found his details on the ZIPNET on July 17 and informed his family that he died in Delhi and his body has been cremated.
July 18 | Vinod’s family reached Delhi and told the police that they suspect Mahender.

July 30 | Mahender was arrested from near Sitapur, UP.

As luck would have it, Vinod’s cousin, Ram Avtar — who works in the office of an MP in Mumbai — had been trying to contact him. When he got no reply and no leads from his family, he got suspicious and started scanning the Zonal Integrated Police Network or ZIPNET, a portal on which the police maintain a log of missing persons. On July 17, Ram Avtar came to know that his teen cousin was dead and has already been cremated. He immediately called up his family in Siddharthnagar.

Vinod’s family reached Delhi the next day and contacted the Prasad Nagar police station. They told the police how one Mahender, who is also the resident of same village, had promised to help Vinod get a job in Karol Bagh. They also claimed that a common friend, the juvenile suspect, had bragged to some people in the village that they had killed Vinod.

The police re-looked at the autopsy and with the allegations made by Vinod’s family as the background, zeroed in on the role of Mahender in the death of Vinod. The autopsy had indicated electrocution and serious head trauma as the probable reasons of death.

Mahender was arrested on July 30 from a village near Sitapur. The minor was also caught the same day from his village in Siddharthnagar.

Mahender told the police that Vinod accidentally touched a live wire at the factory when they had gone their for the job. He said the shock was so powerful that he fell down and died. The police are yet to verify his claims, whether it was an accident or Vinod was killed.

Mahender also confessed to the police that he and his minor friend dragged Vinod’s body outside and removed his clothes, his phone and other items that could have helped establish his identity and left the body on a footpath near the factory.

Mahender and the teenager were booked under the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (section 304), causing disappearance of evidence of offence (201) and common intention (34) of IPC. A senior police officer said the probe was still on and appropriate charges will be added to the case subsequently.

Vinod’s family members, however, allege that Mahender and the teenager murdered their boy and then dumped his body on the footpath. “If there was no foul play and Mahender did not kill him and if it was indeed an accident, then why Mahender took his body out and removed all evidence,” asked Ram Bachan, Vinod’s father, adding that the police were trying to dilute the case against Mahender.

Ram Bachan is a daily wage labourer and the lone bread winner for his eight-member family.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 07:27 IST

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