5 year after murder, servant held

5 year after murder, servant held

Domestic help had smothered ex-army officer after fight over will

A former Indian Army official, who was missing since March 2007, was killed by his servant over an argument related to property and money that he had borrowed from him, police said on Wednesday.

Captain Anurag Raj, a resident of Satya Niketan, had taken voluntary retirement from the Rashtriya Rifles in 1992 and was missing since he and his servant Bhullai Ram went on a personal trip to Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh.

Anurag’s sister Pratika Raj Malhotra had found a handwritten letter at Anurag’s residence dated March 26, 2007, in which he had said he feared a threat to life from Bhullai.

“Bhullai was called at Dhaula Kuan police station and interrogated at length, but nothing fruitful came to light,” said Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (south).

Investigation picked up again after a case under section 365, for kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person, of the Indian Penal Code was filed at South Campus police station in October 2011.

The case was registered after a Delhi High Court order on a petition filed by Pratika.

Recovery of documents

“During the course of investigation, more incriminating documents were recovered from Anurag’s house. Thereafter, police questioned neighbours, local shopkeepers, hotels, gas cylinder suppliers, electricians, watchmen and domestic helps,” Sharma said.

“His friends and relatives were also interrogated and it was concluded that Anurag was last seen at his residence in the last week of March 2007 along with Bhullai.

Thereafter, no one had seen either Anurag or Bhullai at the residence and it remained locked,” she added.

Police later collected bank statements of Anurag’s accounts and found that the last transaction was made through his credit card.

On scrutiny, it was revealed that the card was used at Lucknow and cheques which were cashed as self after March 2007 had different signatures.

“Out of 21 self encashed cheques in question, five cheques had Bhullai’s signature as a bearer and the cheques bore forged signatures of Anurag,” Sharma added.

Bhullai was summoned for interrogation and he confessed to the murder. He told police that he had attacked Anurag with the butt of double barrel gun after he threatened to cancel a will executed in October 2005.

The will would have transferred a huge estate from Anurag’s ancestral property to Bhullai.

He also deposed that he smothered Anurag with a pillow and then wrapped the body in a sack, shoved it into an iron trunk and buried it near his house in  Raebareli.
“A police team and CFSL experts later went to the spot and at his instance, 52 pieces of human bones, two teeth, hair and blood stained pieces of cloth and a polythene bag were recovered from where Bhullai had buried Anurag’s body,” Sharma added.

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