It took eight people, including two juveniles, 20 days to plan the Old Rajinder Nagar triple murder that wiped out the Sonaria family last Saturday. And it worked to perfection — except that the booty yielded by the ghastly crime turned out to be a measly Rs 40,000 and a few trinkets of fake jewellery.
The bloody story behind the triple murder only gets worse. So dejected were the killers with their miserable haul that they sat down to drown their sorrows in alcohol at the scene of their crime. For dinner, they ate what their victims had made for themselves that night.
A mobile phone used by Rajan to call property dealer Sanjay Sonaria at about 7 pm on the night of the crime is what cracked the case open. The device, traced to a man in Ghaziabad, turned out to have been stolen 20 days ago; it was finally used by Rajan to call Sonaria.
Five of the accused were arrested on Wednesday. The two juveniles have also been apprehended while the eighth accused is still at large.
The entire crime was masterminded by Rajan Singh who had befriended Sonaria in Tihar Jail in 2013-14. Rajan was imprisoned for murdering a woman while Sonaria was in jail in connection with a cheating case. Investigators said Sonaria bragged he was an influential property dealer who dealt in properties worth many crores. Sonaria then influenced Rajan to work for him in return for the commissions that these big property deals fetch.
“Around a month ago, Sonaria had boasted before Rajan of receiving Rs 80 lakh as token money in two property deals which he further wanted to invest in property,” a police officer said.
“Anticipating pickings of no less than Rs 1 crore at Sonaria’s house, Rajan along with his associates hatched the plan to wipe out the family and take the money,” the officer said.
On Saturday, Rajan and his motley gang set their dastardly plan in motion. Rajan and four of his associates gained entry into Sonaria’s house posing as potential clients while the two juveniles stood watch outside the building. Two men strangled Sonaria and stuffed his body into a cupboard even as his wife Jyoti was kept in the kitchen by another while two men stayed in the bedroom with Sonaria’s son Pawan, who was next to be strangled. Jyoti was the last to be killed.
After ransacking the three-bedroom flat for more than three hours, Rajan’s gang ended up was Rs 40,000 in cash and artificial jewellery valued at a few thousand rupees. Each got a little over Rs 5,000 from a crime that is punishable with lifetime imprisonment.
The failure left the eight so dejected that they decided to get drunk. One brought alcohol from a nearby market while others collected food cooked by the victims for their dinner. They comfortably finished their food and drinks even as the three dead bodies lay in the flat.
After spending nearly four hours in the house, the gang members left the house separately around midnight and again gathered at a designated place in Kanhaiya Nagar where they distributed the entire booty among themselves and went their ways, said a senior investigating officer. If investigators were to be believed, the money spent by the gang on the murder exceeds what they got from the crime.
Those arrested are Rajan Singh alias Abhishek, Rajender aka Raju, Sanjay Kumar, Harender Giri, and Ram Kishore, aged between 33 and 43 years. The eighth accomplice, Ajay, is still at large. Twenty-five teams of Delhi Police comprising 200 men cracked the case in less than 72 hours.