Addiction led to robbery, unintended murder
It was penury and their addiction for ganja that allegedly drove Vijay Buddhi, Raju and Sarju to kill a 69-year-old man in a farmhouse in Sainik Farms. They had gone to the house with an intention to rob, but ended up killing the victim fearing he would identify them.
Kashi Dutt Tripathi, a retired engineer, was found dead in the servants’ quarters on Wednesday. Tripathi was a relative of CBI chief Vijay Shankar.
“We never intended to kill him. We got scared that he would identify us. It was in this confusion that we killed him,” 20-year-old Raju told HT.
“It was Vijay — who had worked temporarily as a driver for Tripathi — who hatched the conspiracy, as he knew Tripathi lived alone. He informed his two associates Raju and Sarju that Tripathi would be a soft target. These men needed money to buy drugs and fulfil their daily needs,” said Anil Shukla, DCP (South).
Hindustan Times had reported on Saturday that it was Vijay who had hatched the conspiracy to kill Tripathi, as he knew Tripathi would have enough cash at home for his July 17 trip to Switzerland.
The police said Pawan, a gardener working in the neighbourhood saw a bicycle outside the house on the day of the murder and informed the police about the incident. “It was a bicycle that gave us a clue. We understood the crime was the handiwork of someone who lived nearby because a person outside Delhi would never use a cycle as a mode of transport,” Shukla said.
Vijay worked as a driver for Tripathi’s neighbour and did weekend shifts for Tripathi. Police found his name scribbled on a piece of paper in the list of contacts of Tripathi’s table and picked him up for interrogation. Vijay finally confessed to the crime after hours of questioning.
“On Wednesday morning Raju and Sarju rang Tripathi’s doorbell. They told Tripathi Vijay had sent them and they were looking for jobs. As soon as he opened the main gate they asked for the valuables. When he resisted they beat him up, smothered him and strangulated him with a towel,” the DCP said.
The police have recovered 11 expensive wrist watches, cameras, binoculars, foreign currencies including dollars, pounds, euros, Rs 25,000, precious stones, silver coins, gold and silver ornaments, an imported eye gear and some foreign coins from the possession of the accused.