Inside Story
Oct 1, 2012
LUCKNOW: It's a plot befitting reel life but was instead orchestrated in real life. The police in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri district (shown as Fatehpur) have cracked the murder of a businessman whose body was found on September 20. And the cops have gathered conclusive evidence that the deceased had planned his own murder.

The deceased, Harsh Gupta (shown as Naresh Sharma), had financial liabilities worth more than Rs 50 lakh. He plotted his murder thinking that his family would get the insurance money after his death and write off the debts.

Gupta's body was recovered from a village under Kotwali police station of Lakhimpur on September 20. Gupta, who dealt in readymade garments, was also a local BJP leader.

The murder came as a blind case for the police as initial inquiries failed to trace any dispute. "Clueless about the motive we were scanning the call details of the three cellphones of Gupta. We noticed one number which was appearing frequently since last one month and the frequency increased by the day till Gupta was found murdered," said SP Lakhimpur Kheri Kunwar Dalbir Singh (played by Siraj mustafa Khan).

"Tracing further details of the suspected number, we discovered that quite a few times, after Gupta called the particular number or got a call from that number, the two phones came together under the same cellphone tower indicating that the two probably met after the call," he added.

The number was traced to Shatrohan (shown as Amitabh Tiwari) of Phool Behard village in Lakhimpur. Initially refusing to admit his role in the murder, he gave in following sustained interrogation and led the police to his aide Ram Asrey who was missing since Gupta's body was found.

What came as a shocker for the police was the confession of Shatrohan that Gupta himself had plotted his murder. Shatrohan claimed that Gupta had to repay debts worth over Rs 50 lakh. Most of the money was spent on organising public meetings and dinners while some was invested in business.

Shatrohan told police that Gupta approached him about a fortnight before his murder and convinced him to plan his murder. "Initially I refused. But then he told me that he had life insurance policies worth over Rs 70 lakh and his debts were estimated to be around Rs 50 lakh. Hence his family will be able to pay his debts from the policy returns, once he is dead. Since the policies will become invalid if he committed suicide, he had to be murdered or at least this death must appear to be one," Shatrohan said.

Shatrohun then roped in Ram Asrey to do the job. Gupta agreed to pay Rs 10,000 to Ram Asrey. The trio met on September 19 evening. Shatrohan and Ram Asrey consumed liquor while Gupta consumed some tablets. After about half an hour Gupta asked the two to murder him. Ram Asrey first shot him in the back from a distance. Once Gupta hit the ground, Asrey strangled him. Ram Asrey and Shatrohun then left the spot.

"His description matches the postmortem report which speaks of death due to strangulation," said Inspector Prabhat Singh of the Kotwali police station. "We also managed to establish that Gupta had got himself insured for around Rs 70 lakh while his family was also aware of most of his liabilities," Singh said. Gupta's parents and wife refused to comment on the police theory. Ironically, with the murder being worked out, the family is now unlikely to get the benefits of life insurance.