Delhi Police have solved a 25-year-old murder case, cops went into hiding for months to find the suspect


By PTI STI (Update)

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The police team had contacted Ramu’s relatives in Farrukhabad to verify his identity and also called Sunita from Delhi to confirm if the man was indeed her husband’s killer. Finally, when his identity was confirmed, Ramu (50) also confessed to plotting the murder of Lal for money by a committee (a chit-fund type system among a small group of people) in February 1997.

Kishan Lal, who lived in the Tughlaqabad district of Delhi, was stabbed to death on a cold February night in 1997 and the killer was nowhere to be found. Lal, who worked odd jobs, had left behind his wife Sunita, then pregnant with their first child.

The trial began in the death case and the court in Patiala declared fugitive suspect Ramu, a daily wage earner, as a registered offender. He lived in the same neighborhood as Lal. His file from the pre-digital era continued to bite the dust for more than two decades until a team from the Northern District of Delhi Police, trained to handle old cases, got their hands on it in August 2021.

A year later, Sunita received a call from the Delhi police and was asked to contact Lucknow immediately. Delhi police had arrested a 50-year-old man they believed to be her husband’s killer. They wanted her to confirm the identity of the suspect. Sunita, who was accompanied by her son Sunny (24), confirmed to police that the man was Ramu before she passed out.

The woman had lost all hope of getting justice and even closed the doors to our police team who contacted her last year when they started working on this old case. But it was understandable on his part since a lot of time had passed, Deputy Police Commissioner (Northern District) Sagar Singh Kalsi told PTI. The officer praised the four-member team for solving the quarter-century-old case, noting that there were no eyewitnesses to the murder, no photographs of the accused or a clue to its location.

The team had Deputy Inspector Yogender Singh, Chief Constables Puneet Malik and Omprakash Dagar under Inspector Surrender Singh with Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Dharmender Kumar as their guide, Kalsi said.

It was pretty much a wild goose chase for the team where they hoped to get a substantial clue for several months. During this period, the team went undercover on several occasions to investigate in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the DCP said. The team posed as life insurance agents when they traveled to Uttam Nagar in Delhi, where they had tracked down a relative of Ramu under the guise of helping them with money for their relative deceased, Kalsi said. The team also managed to reach Khanpur village in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh under the same cover when they encountered relatives of Ramu, he said.

It was in Farrukhabad that the police came across a mobile number belonging to Aakash, Ramu’s son. Further efforts led the police team to a Facebook account of Aakash through which he was found in the Kapurthala area of ​​Lucknow, the officer said. Police met Aakash and asked where his father Ramu was, who now lived as Ashok Yadav.

He told the team that he had not met his father for a long time and only knew that he was now running an e-rickshaw to earn a living in the Jankipuram area of ​​Lucknow. This happened recently and the case which had been slowly progressing for almost a year suddenly gained momentum. The police team, who was undercover, suspected that information someone had requested about him might get to Ramu and he might go into hiding again, DCP Kalsi said.

In pursuit of the killer, the police team adopted the appearance of officers from an electric rickshaw company and contacted several drivers in the Jankipuram area. They interacted with them under the guise of providing them with subsidies for new electric rickshaws as part of a central government initiative. During one such interaction, an electric rickshaw driver drove them to Ashok Yadav (Ramu), who was staying near a train station on September 14. He was apprehended for questioning; he initially denied being Ramu or having ever lived in Delhi, the officer said.

The police team had contacted Ramu’s relatives in Farrukhabad to verify his identity and also called Sunita from Delhi to confirm if the man was indeed her husband’s killer. Finally, when his identity was confirmed, Ramu (50) also confessed to plotting the murder of Lal for money by a committee (a chit-fund type system among a small group of people) in February 1997.

He had thrown a party on February 4, where he had Kishan Lal knocked out before stabbing him with a knife and fleeing with the money, hiding in different places before moving to Lucknow, officials said. While in hiding, Ramu obtained identity cards, including Aadhar, made under his new but fake identity of Ashok Yadav, Kalsi said.

Now the prosecution in the 25-year-old murder case is continuing at Timarpur police station here, the officer added.


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