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Store owner murdered at shop in south Delhi

Initial investigations have ruled out robbery since everything in the shop was found intact. Police suspect the motive could be personal enmity or a property dispute.

delhi Updated: Sep 09, 2017 00:27 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times
delhi crime,delhi murder,delhi news
A 50-year-old businessman was found murdered in his departmental store in south Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

A 50-year-old owner of a departmental store was murdered by unidentified persons at his three-storey retail establishment in south Delhi’s Gautam Nagar on Thursday night. Businessman Sudhir Gupta was attacked multiple times on his head apparently with an iron rod that was found lying near his body on the ground floor, police said.

The crime took place around 11pm when the store was closed for the day. The main iron shutter was down and Gupta had entered the store from the back gate to count the day’s collection and update account books.

Police said there was no sign of forced entry suggesting Gupta knew the attackers. The role of an ‘insider’ is being probed since only the family and staff members knew that Gupta used to return to the store to update the account after closing down the store and reaching home late in the night.

Initial investigations have ruled out robbery since everything in the shop was found intact. Police suspect the motive could be personal enmity or a property dispute. The store has 16 CCTV cameras but all of them were lying defunct for almost a year, said the police.

“No cash or valuable was missing from the store. Around Rs 6 lakh was kept in the cash counter but the attackers did not touch it. We have registered a case of murder at the Hauz Khas police station and are probing it from all possible angles,” said Chinmoy Biswal, additional deputy commissioner of police (south).

Biswal said that at 11.15pm, Gupta’s son Shivam reached the store and found his father lying unconscious on the floor with head injuries. Shivam alerted his family members and the police control room was informed at 1.40pm. By the time a police team reached, the family members had rushed Gupta to a nearby hospital from where he was shifted to AIIMS trauma centre. “Doctors at the trauma centre declared Gupta dead on admission,” said Biswal.

Gupta is survived by his wife Suman, daughter Chandni and two sons, Shivam and Krishna. He ran the departmental store for more than 30 years. Chandni and Shivam used to assist their fathers in the business. The family lives in Gulmohar Park area that is some 400 meters away from the store, where more than 30 staff are employed.

Gupta’s employee Dheeraj told Hindustan Times that his employer used to close the shop by 10 pm every night. On Thursday, Dheeraj said, Chandni and Shivam were at the store when Gupta asked him to drop him home on his motorcycle.

“I dropped bhaiya (Gupta) outside his home and reached my Faridabad home around 11.30 pm. At about 12.30, my colleague Kamlesh telephonically informed me that bhaiya (Gupta) was attacked by unidentified assailants,” said Dheeraj, who along with other staff were called at the police station for questioning.

The family members said that Gupta used to go for a stroll every night after coming home from the shop. He used to visit the store as well during the stroll. “On Thursday night, he left home on his bicycle and went to the store. Around 10.40 pm, he called Shivam on his mobile and asked him to come pick him up. Shivam reached there at 11.15 pm and found his father on the floor in a pool of blood. We don’t know what happened between that 35 minutes,” said Gupta’s cousin Chintu.

First Published: Sep 09, 2017 00:27 IST