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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

After serving 17-year jail term for murder, Delhi man held for attempt to murder

The suspect Hemchand was earlier jailed for the murder of fashion designer Kunjum Budhiraja in 1999. He was convicted and sent to life in prison. After 17 years, he was released.

delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2019 07:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hemchand (centre) was convicted in the 1999 murder of fashion designer Kunjum Budhiraja. He was released in 2016.
Hemchand (centre) was convicted in the 1999 murder of fashion designer Kunjum Budhiraja. He was released in 2016.(HT Photo )
         

Three years since he was released after serving 17 years in jail for murder, a 44-year-old man was arrested in another attempt to murder case on Wednesday.

The suspect Hemchand was earlier jailed for the murder of fashion designer Kunjum Budhiraja in 1999. He was convicted and sent to life in prison. After 17 years, he was released.

The latest arrest follows a case in 2017. Police said Hemchand, also known as Nani, had then attacked a man in outer Delhi’s Mangolpuri.

The victim in the case, Aman Kumar, was a local criminal and the two were rivals. Hemchand had started demanding “protection money” from his prospective victims soon after his release in the 1999 case from Tihar jail, the police said.

Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Ram Gopal Naik said that on the day of the crime, Kumar and his friend Ravi were eating at an eatery in Mangolpuri’s P-block. Hemchand arrived there and entered into an argument with the duo. During the altercation, Hemchand took out a knife and attacked Kumar inflicting multiple serious stab wounds.

“Hemchand fled the crime scene before the police arrived. The injured man was admitted to a nearby hospital. A case of attempt to murder was registered at the Mangolpuri police station and investigation was taken up,” said Naik.

DCP Naik said that a crime branch team on Wednesday received information that the suspect would be at the Moti Bagh flyover to meet an associate. Accordingly, the team laid a trap and Hemchand was caught around 10 pm, as he arrived there and started waiting for his aide.

During questioning, Naik said, Hemchand confessed to his involvement in the attempt to murder case and revealed that he had been frequently changing his hideouts to avoid his arrest. “He also disclosed that he was among the five accused, apart from Romesh Sharma (a close aid of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim), who were convicted in the Kunjum Budhiraja murder case. Hemchand was released in October 2016,” he said.

Sharma was acquitted in the case in 2015.

A fashion designer and Sharma’s live-in partner, Budhiraja was found stabbed to death at Sharma’s south Delhi’s Jai Mata Di farmhouse on March 20, 1999. At the time of her murder, Sharma was in Tihar in connection with one of the 15 cases against him: of criminal intimidation, cheating and grabbing property.

Police said that Hemchand had robbed a woman of her belongings on gunpoint when he was out of jail in 2010 on parole. He was arrested in that case as well. Before his involvement in Budhiraja’s murder, Hemchand had been in four cases of possessing illegal weapons, the DCP added.

First Published: Aug 08, 2019 23:48 IST

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