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Delhi teen’s obsession with gaming led him to stab parents, sister to death

Nineteen-year-old Suraj and eight of his friends had rented a one-bedroom flat in Mehrauli to play computer games since his parents wouldn’t allow it at home.

delhi Updated: Oct 12, 2018 09:21 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vasant Kunj triple murders,Crime stories,Sarnam Verma
Suraj, a first-year civil engineering student, lived with his parents and 16-year-old sister. Police said he was disinterested in academics, but had developed an obsession for online gaming. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Representative Image)

His father wanted him to focus on his studies, bag a degree in civil engineering and take over the family’s successful interior designing business. But all that the 19-year-old Sarnam Verma alias Suraj wanted from life was to be left alone to play computer games with his friends.

According to police, Suraj’s obsession with online gaming was what led him to kill his parents and his 16-year-old sister at their apartment in south Delhi’s Kishangarh village in the early hours of Wednesday. A day later, a city court remanded him in jail for 14 days.

Devender Arya, deputy commissioner of police (southwest), said Suraj had lost interest in studies about five years ago. He failed once in his class 12 board exams, but his father Mithilesh spent money to get him admitted to a private engineering college in Gurugram.

“But Suraj would hardly attend college. He was obsessed with playing computer games and found friends with the same interest,” the DCP said.

Since his parents wouldn’t allow gaming at home, Suraj and his eight other friends rented a one-bedroom flat in nearby Mehrauli. These friends included his girlfriend, three from his college and others were from south Delhi neighbourhoods.

“Each of them would pool in ₹500-₹1,000 every month to pay the rent. The flat served as a safe place for youngsters to play games and have drinks,” the DCP said.

Suraj shared a strained relationship with his parents. “His father would allegedly beat him for not focusing on his studies. His mother wouldn’t allow his friends to visit home,” the officer said.

Read | Delhi teen who stabbed family to death hated father most, tried to pin murders on him, say police

The only person Suraj spoke to at home was his 16-year-old sister who had a more “disciplined lifestyle” and did well in academics. Suraj was allegedly jealous of her, but the relationship between the siblings turned sour only a few weeks ago.

According to an investigator, the girl had checked Suraj’s mobile phone to learn about the Mehrauli flat and alerted the parents. An enraged Mithilesh had allegedly thrashed Suraj, leaving him enraged and wanting to take revenge against his family.

According to neighbours, they never got a hint of the troubles in the Verma family. “Theirs seemed like a perfect family. We live right across their flat, but never heard them quarrelling,” Renu, a neighbour, who was the first to learn of the triple murder, said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Suraj’s parents had scolded him for his “wayward lifestyle”. “He decided to get rid of his family. He walked to a shop nearby, purchased a knife and a pair of scissors and returned home with the intention of killing his parents and sister,” the DCP said.

It was around 3am on Wednesday when Suraj allegedly attacked the trio in their sleep. He allegedly tried to pass off the murder as the handiwork of unidentified robbers.

But when a police team visited the spot, they found Suraj’s behaviour “suspicious”. “We were sad to see him sitting in the same house where his parents’ bodies were lying. So, we offered to take him to the police station and give him breakfast. But he was more interested in finding his mobile phone. For someone who had just lost his parents and sister, his focus on the phone arose our suspicion,” an investigator said.

But the police gave him the benefit of the doubt. As investigators went about probing the case, they found bloodstained footprints in the washroom. “There had been attempts to remove bloodstains from some parts of the house as well. We checked Suraj’s clothes to realise he had tried to wash the blood off his clothes,” the DCP said.

Suraj was put through sustained question and he allegedly tried to blame his father for the deaths of his mother and sister. But, later, went on to admit that he killed all three.

“Suraj did not have any aspirations. He knew that his father had money and a building that fetched a lot of rent, so he wouldn’t be without a future if he successfully pulled off the murders,” the DCP said.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 09:11 IST