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Mohali double murder: Journalist KJ Singh knew killers, was stabbed 15 times, says police

No forced entry into slain journalist’s house, police suspect 3-4 people involved; crime took place around 9pm on Friday, says postmortem

punjab Updated: Sep 25, 2017 11:19 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Mohali double murder,Journalist,KJ Singh
People associated with KJ Singh told HT that he got very suspicious in the past couple of years. (Facebook photo)

Senior journalist KJ Singh, 63, and his mother Gurcharan Kaur, 92, who were found murdered at their Phase-3B2 house on Saturday noon, were reportedly killed around 9pm on Friday night.

Police have reached this conclusion on the basis of the postmortem report submitted by a three-member medical board of the Phase-6 civil hospital. Suspecting the involvement of three to four persons in the crime, police say the victim had possibly known them.

Police have two facts to support this theory: There was no forced entry into the house, and KJ Singh always opened the door of his house after talking to the visitor over phone. People associated with KJ Singh told HT that he got very suspicious in the past couple of years.

Obituary: Goodbye, my friend KJ Singh, it’s hard to die

“Whenever we would call to meet KJ (as he was known in the professional circle), he would stress on giving him a call after we reached outside his house,” said a close associate, who did not want to be named. “Over the years, this became a norm, for reasons best known to him.”

“The victim was stabbed multiple times in the neck, leading to cutting of crucial arteries and pipes.”

The double murder came to light at 1pm on Saturday when KJ’s sister, Yashpal Kaur, and her son, Ajay Pal, came with lunch, which she brought as a routine to their house. She found blood stains on the main door that was bolted from outside and the trail led to the room where KJ’s body was on the bed. He had been stabbed in the stomach and neck. His bedridden mother was found strangulated in the adjacent room.

“At around 8:40pm (on Friday), the victim received a WhatsApp message, to which he had replied,” said a police official, requesting anonymity. “Around 9pm his phone was switched off.” Mobile phones of both the victims besides an LCD television and KJ’s Ford Ikon are missing after the incident.

Meanwhile, police have gathered the data of history-sheeters, contract killers and those who were out on parole and have started questioning them. A senior official said they have also scrutinised the phone calls data and are trying to trace the people who were active in the area during the time of murder.

KJ was a former news editor of the Indian Express, The Times of India and The Tribune in Chandigarh. He was a bachelor and lived with his mother.

KJ Singh’s (right) murder came to light around 1pm when a visitor went inside the house after getting no response at the gate. (HT Photos)

KJ, mother cremated

KJ Singh and his mother were cremated on Sunday. Apart from the family members, a large number of journalists and his former colleagues, were present. On behalf of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, his media adviser Raveen Thukral paid homage to the departed souls.

Was stabbed 15 times

The postmortem report has confirmed that KJ Singh was stabbed at least 15 times as he put up a fight with his attackers. The postmortem was conducted by a three-member medical board headed by Dr Karamjeet Singh at the Phase-6 civil hospital.

“A regular knife was used,” said Dr Parminderjeet Singh, who was part of the board. “The victim was stabbed multiple times in the neck, leading to cutting of crucial arteries and pipes. Stab marks were prominently visible on the chest near the heart area while stabbing in the stomach led to internal visceral organs being ruptured followed by blood loss.”

The doctor said the assault on the neck was the most vicious, which led to KJ’s immediate death.

Police probing multiple angles

Police say there are a lot of gaps between the circumstantial evidence and what KJ’s close associates and family have told them so far. They are probing the double murder from various angles.

Professional animosity: KJ was freelancing for various magazines from home. “We have taken his laptop into custody and sent it for forensic analysis to check if it carries any provocative article or mail,” said an official.

Property dispute: After KJ’s last rites, police questioned his kin on property documents and friction within the family, if any. Sources said police will ask the victims’ family to assist them in investigations.

Robbery: The preliminary probe has already ruled out at robbery as the motive behind the double murder. Police suspect the killers took away the phones and car to mislead them.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 09:54 IST