Gehlot the fugitive, Dahiya the telecaller
On June 17 this year, when they got to know that he was suffering from stomach ailments, they went out of their way to ensure he did not lack care.Updated: Jun 28, 2019 05:04 IST
For the past eight years, Raju Gehlot was on Delhi Police’s list of most-wanted criminals, one whose photograph was widely shared by the police after he became the prime suspect in the murder of Neetu Solanki, his live-in partner.
Yet, since September 2017, employees of a call centre in Gurugram knew him as Rohan Dahiya, a hard-working professional “who spoke little and almost never smiled”.
On June 17 this year, when they got to know that he was suffering from stomach ailments, they went out of their way to ensure he did not lack care.
“We got him hospitalised and ensured that at least one of us kept him company. We arranged six units of blood and pooled in ₹1.5 lakh after the health insurance provided by our firm fell short,” a senior colleague of a Gurugram-based firm that provides IT and call centre services, said.
When they learnt of his real identity through the police on Wednesday, they could hardly believe that “Rohan” was a fugitive from law, one who was suspected of killing his live-in partner and dumping a bag stuffed with her body outside the New Delhi railway station.
“Now we realise why he was shy of getting himself photographed and avoided public gatherings,” another colleague, who had recruited Gehlot on the recommendation of a consulting company, said.
“When he had applied here, we had no reason to suspect anything foul. He had produced an original Aadhaar card, PAN card and driving licence. He already had four to five years of experience when he came in,” a colleague speaking on behalf of the firm said.
Police said Gehlot was proficient in making fake identity proofs, much before he allegedly killed Solanki. “Gehlot had used fake identity proofs to procure a job in Bangalore, rent an accommodation there as well as in Delhi,” an officer said.
“The identity proofs he submitted for his job in Gurugram were drawn up in the name of a non-existent Rohan Dahiya,” Rajeev Ranjan, additional commissioner of police (crime branch), said.
During his tenure at the firm, Gehlot was unlike what the police knew him to be. “He never misbehaved with anyone, never displayed a temper and did not speak more than what was necessary,” a colleague said — his description a sharp contrast to the police’s profiling that Gehlot was short-tempered, especially when drunk.
Serving as a team leader, Gehlot was a “disciplined performer” and drew a monthly salary of ₹25,000.
“He had a good command of English, so we tasked him with training freshers. He mostly trained those who interacted with Americans,” another colleague said.
While the police said that multiple organ failure, triggered by “excessive drinking”, caused his death, his colleagues said they only saw him smoking. “Maybe, he never drank with us because he feared spilling his secrets when drunk,” a colleague speculated.
On June 17, Gehlot’s neighbour called one of his colleagues to say that he was ill and wouldn’t make it to the hospital. His colleagues got him admitted to a government hospital the same day and asked him for contact details of his relatives. Gehlot allegedly told them that he had no relatives in Delhi-NCR.
“We panicked when doctors said his condition was serious. We scanned his mobile phone to find only around 25 contacts in it. Most of them were our colleagues. We called on each of those numbers to realise that one of them was his distant relative,” the colleague said.
When the relative was contacted over phone, his response was lukewarm— that he would update Gehlot’s immediate relatives.
As Gehlot’s condition deteriorated, he was moved to two different hospitals, the last being on June 21. “When we pestered him for contacts of other relatives, he told us about a cousin in Gurugram. Doctors told us that she visited Gehlot once during our brief absence and never returned,” the colleague said.
On Tuesday, doctors told Gehlot that he may not much time left. It was then that he reportedly revealed to one of his colleagues his true identity and shared his brother’s contact number.
“Soon, his entire family was at the hospital, but they couldn’t really interact with him as he was in the intensive care unit. He died at 11.45pm Tuesday,” the colleague said.
First Published: Jun 28, 2019 05:04 IST