Dacoits' arrest solves pilot's murder mystery

Dacoits' arrest solves pilot's murder mystery

On Thursday, when the Bengaluru Rural police arrested a gang for house break-ins, they were in for a surprise.

It turned out its members had murdered Parvez Hamilton Khokar (70), former chief test pilot and director of the Tejas light combat aircraft project.

The gang had committed several robberies, burglaries and dacoities on the outskirts of the city, but the police had no clue they were involved in the sensational murder.

On November 24, 2014, five of the 12 arrested had smothered Khokar to death while attempting to burgle his villa at Estate Club Smilee Green Plantation, a gated colony near Hebbagodi. Khokar, a retired air commodore with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment, had also been a member of an IAF squadron during the 1971 Pakistan war.

The arrested are R Srinivas (21), M Girish (33), V Subramani (32), N Nagaraj (28), S M Suresh (38), V Manjunath (24), N Subramani (29), N Thimmaraju (22), N Babu (26), M Babu (26) and M Ravindra (30), all residents of Anekal taluk; and N Satyanarayana (28), a resident of Madiwala.

Police identified the ones involved in the Khokar case as Srinivas, Girish, Subramani, Nagaraj and Satyanarayana.

What happened that night

Amit Singh, Superintendent of Police, Bengaluru Rural, said, “Their modus operandi was to conduct a recce and strike. That is what they did in the Khokar case.”

Around midnight, the gang went in a car and parked behind the colony. Satyanarayana stayed in the vehicle, while Nagaraj stealthily stood guard outside, Singh said.

Srinivas, Girish and Subramani scaled the wall and tried entering the house through the main door, but couldn’t. They went to the terrace, broke open the door and went in. They rummaged two rooms on the first floor and then went to the ground floor. Khokar woke up and walked out to find three men. He took them on, but they overpowered him.

The gang then gagged Khokar and choked him to death. They heard the security guard blow his whistle. The killers assumed it was the police. They ran, leaving behind the Rs 20,000 they had stolen. Too scared to open the front door, they broke open the kitchen door and escaped, the officer said.

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