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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Elderly couple, nurse found murdered in Vasant Vihar

A couple in their seventies and a 20-year-old nursing attendant were found murdered with stab wounds in their neck in their flat in Vasant Apartments in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar on Sunday.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2019 08:06 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Image for representation
Image for representation(AFP file photo)

A couple in their seventies and a 20-year-old nursing attendant were found murdered with stab wounds in their neck in their flat in Vasant Apartments in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar on Sunday. Since there was no forced entry, the police suspect the involvement of somebody known, either to the couple or the nursing attendant, or both, according to officers involved in the investigation.

The motive of the killings is also unclear. Though there were signs of ransacking in the bedroom, where the couple was found murdered on the bed, police said that it was unlikely that the crime was a robbery that escalated into murder. The couple appear to have been killed in their sleep, the officer cited above said, asking not to be named.

The weapon appeared to be an ice pick given the nature of the wounds, police said, adding that it has not been found. The mobile phones of all three victims are also missing. Two glasses, half filled with liquor, and a packet of cigarettes was found on a table in the room where the nursing attendant’s body was found.

“Prime facie, it appears that an acquaintance of the trio may have committed the crime. The exact motive behind the murders will be known only when we nab and interrogate the killer. As of now, it’s a blind case and our teams are looking into all the possibilities. We have not completely ruled out robbery as a motive, but it appears unlikely,” said special commissioner of police (law and order — south zone), RS Krishnia.

Over the last 24 hours — between Saturday morning and Sunday morning — there were nine murders in three separate incidents reported across the Capital. A private tutor allegedly killed his wife and three children at their home in Mehrauli on Saturday morning, and later that day a blind man and his wife were found murdered in their house in west Delhi’s Mohan Garden.

Till June 15, a total of 233 murders have been reported in the city — 10 more than over the same period last year.

“Delhi is witnessing a dangerous spurt in serious crimes. An elderly couple and their domestic help murdered in Vasant Vihar. Nine murders reported in last 24 hours across the city. Whose door should be knocked for safety & security of Delhiites?” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Sunday.

In the Vasant Apartments triple murder, the couple — Vishnu Mathur, 79, and Shashi Mathur, 75 — had lived in their flat for the past 30 years. Vishnu was a retired pharmacist from Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) while Shashi retired from the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) as a senior nursing assistant. The wife was bedridden for the past few months after a knee fracture that led to a surgery. The 20-year nursing attendant, Khushbu Nautiyal, was working at the couple’s house as their full-time caretaker for the last six months, the police said.

Deputy commissioner of police (south-west) Devender Arya said that the three murders were reported at around 9am when the couple’s neighbour called the police control room. A police team reached the apartment and learnt that the bodies were discovered by Babli, who cooked and cleaned in the house, when she came to work as usual.

“She told us that the main door was ajar when she arrived. She went inside and found the nursing attendant on the floor in the dining room with blood spread around her body. The couple was found dead on the bed,” said Arya, adding that the police have registered a case of murder at the Vasant Vihar police station.

Police said the couple had one stab wound each in their throats, while Nautiyal had at least five wounds around her neck. Their bodies were sent to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences mortuary for autopsy, which will help the police ascertain if the victims were drugged, smothered or strangled before being stabbed. No signs of any resistance were found on the murder spot, a police officer associated with the investigation said.

“We spoke to the couple’s daughter and her husband who live in Delhi’s East of Kailash to know if any jewellery, cash or valuables were missing from the house. They claimed that the couple did not keep any such valuables with them,” said the officer cited above.

DCP Arya said they are preparing a list of people who had access to the flat and frequented the couple. The footage of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the neighbourhood are also being scanned for clues.

“There is no CCTV camera on the staircase leading to the couple’s flat. Nobody known to the couple and the nursing attendant has been given a clean chit,” Arya said.

First Published: Jun 23, 2019 21:46 IST