Delay in checking up on servant costs major's life

Drugged before attack, family's suspicion proves right

For retired army officer Rohit Sethi’s family and friends, at least two of their suspicions proved correct after police nabbed four youths involved in his murder.

Even before the arrests, Rohit’s elder brother Vipin Sethi had told Deccan Herald that he felt one person would not be capable of killing the well-built and physically fit Rohit. Four persons were found to be involved in the murder.

Rohit’s friend S S Bhati had also correctly reasoned that the victim must have been poisoned or drugged before being killed.

“Even at this age, he was very strong. You couldn’t kill him easily even if was asleep. He must have been poisoned,” he had said. Rohit was indeed revealed to be drugged before the killing.

The family also suspects that the pet dog at the house was also fed sedatives that have kept him unusually subdued since Wednesday morning. 

“She has not been eating or drinking anything since morning and only been lying down. We are surprised she didn’t bark at the time of the murder,” said another relative.

The victim’s mother, brother and two maids had warned him against keeping the juvenile as the domestic help when he was hired four days ago.

“We all found his behavior suspicious. Rohit was to collect his photograph and identity proof today (Thursday) for police verification,” Vipin said. But Rohit ignored their warnings.

Little did he know that the accused was hiding details on his identity, allegedly with a purpose to rob the house and kill him. But having been an army officer, Rohit would not have been so careless as to hiring a servant without taking his details, say his relatives.

“My uncle would have taken his photograph on his phone and kept his address proof in his purse. Both have been stolen with a purpose to keep the servant’s identity hidden,” alleged Rohit’s nephew Abhimanyu.

Rohit’s 93-year-old mother, who first realised that her son was taking unusually long to wake up and that the door was locked from inside, was not informed of his death.

Unaware, she continued chanting god’s name even as guests, including local BJP leaders and army officials, kept visiting the home.

“Rohit’s son who works in Singapore will break the news to her when he arrives at night,” said Vipin.

Sethi retired as a major in 1982. On December 5, 1971, he led a commando platoon of 9th Gorkha Rifles and successfully attacked Pakistani soldiers at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab. “He was a second lieutenant at that time and received the Vir Chakra award for his bravery.”

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