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The Inside Story
NEW DELHI: Two months after a 40-year-old wheelchair-bound man and his mother were found murdered at their Rohini home, the crime branch on Wednesday claimed to have cracked the case.

The suspect, Sanjay Arora, alias Sanjay Kakkar (33)—who worked as a recovery agent for financial institutions—was arrested on Tuesday. He has confessed to murdering Jitender Mishra after the latter refused to repay the Rs 32,000-loan he had taken from him. His 62-year-old mother, who had allegedly witnessed the murder, was also eliminated.

Additional commissioner of police (crime) Ashok Chand said the case was cracked after extensive investigations. "The mother-son duo was found dead at their home in sector 5, Rohin on September 12. On Tuesday, Sanjay was apprehended from Japanese Park in Rohini by a team led by DCP Dinesh Gupta," Chand said.

"Two leads—an Imperial Blue whisky bottle and the CCTV footage of the area—proved to be crucial. The blood-stained wooden block used in the murder has been recovered as well," he added.

During interrogation, Sanjay revealed that he had come in contact with Mishra in 2007 through a common friend. They became friends as both had been fighting divorce cases with their respective wives.

Meanwhile, Jitender's wife Pratima had died in mysterious circumstances while the divorce case was being pursued.

In early 2014, Sanjay had given Rs 32,000 and a gold chain to the deceased as loan. Despite repeated requests, Mishra did not return the money. Meanwhile, Sanjay's financial condition worsened and he had borrowed money from other people who in turn pressured him to return their money, the police said.

On the day of the incident, Sanjay went to Mishra's house with a bottle of Imperial Blue whisky. During their drinking session, Sanjay demanded the money and gold from Mishra but this time too, the latter expressed his inability to pay him back.

This angered Sanjay, after which he went to the kitchen, picked up a knife and stabbed Mishra on his forehead. He then throttled him until he fell unconscious. Hearing the noise, his mother Usha rushed in and found Sanjay throttling her son. Before she could raise an alarm, Sanjay covered her mouth and dragged her to the other room and hit her with a wooden block.

In order to make sure that both of them are dead, Sanjay picked up a gas cylinder from the kitchen and bludgeoned both of them. He then ransacked the room to make it look like a robbery and fled, the police said.

His locations were verified with CCTV footage from the area and Sanjay was confronted during which he broke down and confessed.

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An elderly woman and her bed-ridden 40-year-old son were found battered to death at their residence in Rohini here on Friday. Although the house was found ransacked, the police ruled out robbery as the motive and said personal enmity could be the reason behind the murders.

The victims – Usha Mishra (62) and Jitendra – had an acrimonious relation with the family members of the latter’s now deceased wife Pratibha. The police said they would question Jitendra’s in-laws if need be but did not name them as suspects. It is pertinent to mention here that two years ago the two sides had a scuffle and a case was registered into the matter.

Ms. Mishra was last seen alive around 9 p.m. on Thursday purportedly by her neighbour Manorama Upadhyay, who was also the first one to spot the bodies and raise an alarm.

“Ms. Mishra was an early riser but I did not see her cleaning the front of the house at her usual time of 6 a.m. Around 8 a.m., I pressed the door bell but there was no reply. I repeated this another couple of hours later but no one answered this time either. I could hear the sound from the television set. Worried, I pushed the door and found it was not bolted from the inside. What I saw next shook me,” said Ms. Upadhyay.

According to her, she saw Ms. Mishra – with injuries on her face, forehead and skull – lying on the bed and her son on the floor of the next room in a similar state.

Only the mother-son duo had been living in the house since Jitendra’s wife passed away. The couple was childless while Ms. Mishra’s four daughters are married and live in different parts of the Capital.

For the past few years, Jitendra had been suffering from a form of arthritis that completely restricted his movement. This had taken a toll on both his health and finances as he could not run the book shop he inherited from his father.

A police officer told The Hindu that prima facie it appeared the assailants had a friendly entry into the house and that Jitendra’s health and his mother’s age could mean that there was little resistance to the attack. The incident, the police suspect, could have taken place on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. “It seems that they were brutally attacked with a blunt object,” he said.

The police also summoned the CCTV footage from cameras installed outside neighbouring houses but said it did not provide any clue.

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