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Elderly couple murdered in north Delhi, lockers emptied, help absconding

The double murder came to light when an attendant alerted the neighbours that the couple were neither opening the door nor taking calls. Delhi police broke open the house and found the two lying dead in a room.

delhi Updated: Sep 04, 2017 16:24 IST
Snehal Tripathi
Snehal Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi crime,Delhi murder
Relatives said that Ramlal was a retired government official. He had worked in audit department of home ministry. Kaushal was a retired government school teacher.(Picture: Sourced)

A couple in their seventies was murdered and their house ransacked in north-west Delhi’s Ashok Vihar, Phase-3, on Saturday. Ramlal Bhutani (79) and his wife Kaushal Bhutani (73) were found dead by an attendants at 9.43am. Police said one of their recently hired domestic helps is absconding.

The incident came to light when Dulal Sarkar (57), who looked after ailing Ramlal, came to the house at 8am and found the door locked. He found it unusual as the couple did not leave their home, except in case of a medical emergency. Ramlal had been bedridden for the last three years due to a spinal problem. Recently, he had also developed heart ailments, due to which he was on complete bed rest.

“My job was to look after Ramlal from 8am to 8pm. On Saturday morning, I came to work and found that the door was locked. The couple did not answer their phones. I asked their neighbours and even made a call to Ramlal’s relatives. Nobody had a clue where they were,” Sarkar said.

Making one last attempt, Sarkar went to the nearest hospital to make enquires. He couldn’t find them and alerted their neighbours again. The police reached the spot, broke the door open and found the couple lying dead in one of the rooms.

“Ramlal was on the bed. It looked like he had been smothered to death. Kaushal was on the ground with a head injury. Every room had been ransacked. Cupboards were open and lockers had been emptied. The couple’s phones are also missing,” Sarkar said.

The prime suspect is the second attendant, Dinesh (20), who had been recently hired to look after Ramlal. His work started after Sarkar’s shift got over. Dinesh was the last person who was seen with the couple, the neighbours said.

“Dinesh was hired after Ramlal had a heart attack 10 days ago. He had returned from the hospital on August 27. On Friday night, I left when Dinesh came. He was supposed to be there on Saturday morning when I reported for work. But he wasn’t there. Instead, I found my employers dead and their house ransacked,” Sarkar said.

Relatives said that Ramlal was a retired government official. He had worked in audit department of home ministry. Kaushal was a retired government school teacher.

Ramlal was born in Pakistan. Post-partition, he shifted to Delhi with his family. He married Kaushal in 1989. Ever since then, the couple had been living alone in the house. “They were very humble. My brother was very punctual. He loved to interact and always kept in touch with everyone, even after falling ill,” said Lalita Chawla, Ramlal’s sister.

“He told me that he was feeling better. He always kept in touch with me and the rest of the family, despite being confined to bed due to health issues. The next morning, I was told he has been murdered. I couldn’t believe it,” said SL Chawla, Ramlal’s brother-in-law.

Police said that a case has been registered at Bharat Nagar police station. Search for the absconding attendant is on.

First Published: Sep 02, 2017 23:50 IST