A 94-year-old retired MEA official was attacked and his 88-year-old wife stabbed to death during a robbery at their Safdarjung Enclave residence in Southwest Delhi on Saturday night. Police said the security guard of the building where the couple lived, along with three of his associates, allegedly overpowered Baldev Raj Chawla and his wife Kanta, slit the woman’s neck when she tried to resist, and fled with money and jewellery.
DCP (Southwest) Devender Arya said the four accused — guard Rajesh (18), Gyanender (22), Om (18) and Pramod (26) — were arrested on Sunday from Lakhimpur Kheri near the Nepal border. Police said all hail from the neighbouring country.
The couple lived on the upper ground floor in Safdarjung Enclave’s A1 block.
Police said that around 9 pm Saturday, the accused went to the couple’s house. DCP Arya said: “The guard was appointed two weeks ago. When Kanta opened the door, she saw the men. Before she could do anything, they overpowered the couple. Kanta tried to stop them but one of them attacked her with a sharp object.” They forced her husband to sit on the sofa and tied his hands with a rope.
Police said the accused then went to the bedroom and fled with money and jewellery worth Rs 55,000.
Police said Chawla managed to go out, take the lift to the third floor and alert his neighbours. They immediately called the RWA president, who made the PCR call. The woman was taken to a hospital but succumbed to her injuries. Police said the couple had two children but both died a few years ago.
Police said Chawla is still in a state of shock and has not been able to give details of what is missing from his home. RWA president V K Malhotra said, “The couple were registered with the Delhi Police’s senior citizen scheme and police constables would often visit them. One of their security guards had been working with them for 25 years, and the couple hired another one recently. He didn’t have police verification.” A senior police officer said, “The men had been planning the robbery for two days. They booked a cab from Safdarjung Enclave to Nepal on June 18. Rajesh had been referred to the couple by their domestic help. The accused were fleeing to Nepal when they were caught.”
Jitendra Kumar, the other security guard from the building, said, “I got a call from a resident on the third floor about the robbery. I rushed to their home and found aunty lying on the floor with injuries on her neck. Uncle was sitting on the chair, shocked. He told us the robbers took everything and killed aunty.” Kumar said the couple didn’t move out a lot due to their old age, and their domestic help would arrange for groceries and medical help. “Their daughter-in-law and grandchildren live in the US,” said the guard.
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