New Delhi: They tied his hands and legs, taped his mouth, and then strangled him. Then they fled with his credit cards.
On 22 September, a 58-year-old man was found dead in his flat in Vaishali. The prime suspects in the case, the victim’s 14-year-old adopted daughter and her alleged 23-year-old boyfriend, were detained in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon on 27 September and apprehended a day later by the Ghaziabad Police. This came after the teenager’s mother filed a First Information Report.
Police claim that the murder was planned in advance. The teenager allegedly bought ropes and tapes two days ago, called her boyfriend — a Jalgaon native who did odd jobs for a living — to Delhi, and even ensured she was at home at the time of the murder.
The reason for the crime: the growing tensions between the teenager and her father, mainly over her alleged relationships, police say.
The 58-year-old man and his wife had adopted the teenager when she was a baby, police said. The father and daughter allegedly had several blazing rows at home and had even fought the day before the murder — something police sources claim a whiteboard in the living room of the family home having the message “Mein aaj se isko kuch bhi nahi dunga” (Now on, I won’t give her anything) written on it bears testimony to.
The message was written by the father, police said.
Ghaziabad Superintendent of Police Gyanendra Kumar Singh told ThePrint that the father was weak because he’d just undergone surgery for oral cancer.
While the minor has now been sent to a correctional home, her co-accused is in judicial custody.
Blazing rows and a murder
Neighbours allegedly attest to regular fights in the house — sounds of yelling, screaming, and howling were frequently heard from their flat, police said.
These tensions had allegedly risen after the father lodged an FIR under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against the teenager’s 19-year-old ex-boyfriend, with whom she allegedly eloped in the past.
Police claim that although she had tried to intervene, her testimony had been discarded in court because she was a minor.
Tensions allegedly rose once again when the girl’s father learned of her relationship with the 23-year-old co-accused, sources claim.
“He would also take away her phone. Her pocket money was cut off,” a senior police officer said.
SP Singh said the minor and the 23-year-old co-accused first became acquainted with each other eight months ago while playing an online game.
At 11 am on 22 September, the 23-year-old co-accused in the case allegedly reached Vaishali. Police said that the suspect, who’s studied only till Class 5 and did odd jobs for a living, took a loan from a friend to travel.
Although the two had been chatting for months, this was the first time the two actually met.
“The minor had told him over the months that her father was strict and she was extremely unhappy. She told him about the fights. She also alleges that he would often beat her,” Singh said.
The teenager allegedly sneaked him into the house when the father had gone to the market. Her mother, who was a government employee, was at work, police said.
The girl allegedly hid her co-accused in the bathroom when the father returned and then had lunch with him.
As he was heading to take a nap, the two overpowered and killed him, SP Singh said, adding that by 2 pm, he was dead.
After the murder, she allegedly packed some clothes and took her father’s credit cards. Police claim that footage from security cameras in the building shows the two suspects leaving around 5 pm.
They allegedly went to Akshardham, took a taxi to Agra, then a bus to Nashik, and then on to Jalgaon.
“They kept changing the locations, and never stayed in the same hotel or lodge for more than a day,” the SP said.
It was the girl’s mother who found the body when she came home from work on the evening of 22 September. She grew concerned when she found the house locked from the outside and there was no answer to her phone calls. Once she entered the flat, she found her husband motionless on the floor, his credit cards missing and their daughter nowhere to be found, she allegedly grew suspicious and immediately went to Kaushambi Police Station to file an FIR against her daughter, police said.
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)