Woman, nephew murdered by kin over property tiff in Delhi

A 55-year-old woman and her nephew were killed and her son was injured after her brother-in-law allegedly attacked the trio with a spade and a knife at their home in central Delhi’s Paharganj

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2018 04:10 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Crime,Murder,Delhi
Family members and neighbours of the victims in Paharganj’s Kaseru Walan.(HT Photo)

A 55-year-old woman and her nephew were killed and her son was injured after her brother-in-law allegedly attacked the trio with a spade and a knife at their home in central Delhi’s Paharganj in the early hours of Thursday, police said.

Police attributed the double murder to a property dispute and domestic quarrels within the joint family that lived in their three-storey building in Paharganj’s Kaseru Walan.

The 48-year-old suspected killer, Raj Kumar, was arrested from the same neighbourhood within hours of the crime, said MS Randhawa, deputy commissioner of police (Central).

Kaushalya and her nephew Purushottam, 30, died while Kaushalya’s 25-year-old son was injured police said.

The joint family is headed by 80-year-old matriarch Kela Devi, a mother to five sons.

In the last eight years prior to Thursday’s murders, she had lost three sons and a daughter-in-law to illnesses.

One of those sons, Om Prakash, had died four years ago. “The sale of a shop owned by Prakash after his death had fetched our family ₹4 lakh, all of which was used by Prakash’s wife, Kaushalya, to buy a house in west Delhi. She lived there until a month ago,” said Devi.

Prakash’s younger brother Kumar, who was unemployed and unmarried, had allegedly wanted a share of the money. Police said he was also angry at having to share the Paharganj home with Kaushalya and her three sons, who had returned to live there a month ago.

“My son is a drug addict and would often threaten to do something that would land him in jail. We didn’t know he planned to destroy our family,” said Devi.

According to the police, the trigger for Thursday’s murders was a quarrel between Kumar and Purushottam, who was visiting their home for the first time. Kumar allegedly held a grudge against Purushottam as he suspected him of advising Kaushalya to take all decisions after her husband’s death.

“On Wednesday, Kumar and Purushottam got into a fight. Kumar decided to kill him and purchased a spade from the local market,” said an investigator.

Police said Purushottam was sleeping in a room around 2.30 am on Thursday when Kumar attacked him repeatedly
with the spade. “Hearing his cries, Kaushalya woke up and rushed to save Purushottam. Kumar attacked her too,” said the officer.

Kela Devi said she too awoke to loud cries.

“To stop my son from attacking Kaushalya, I shielded her and told him to hit me instead with the spade. He hurled the spade away and picked up a kitchen knife to run to the terrace where Kaushalya’s three sons were sleeping,” said Devi.

Devi tried to run behind him, but she was unable to climb the steep stairs.

“I could hear Kaushalya’s son Rohit beg for his life. Rohit’s two brothers ran downstairs while he was being attacked,” said Devi, adding she wanted her son to be jailed forever.

Leaving Rohit with multiple stab wounds, Kumar scaled the terrace wall and escaped, said police. “Kaushalya and Purushottam were declared
brought dead at a hospital while Rohit is expected to survive,” said the DCP.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 04:10 IST