The Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) has initiated an investigation into the murders of an elderly couple who had been relentlessly pursuing the case of their son’s death in an alleged fake encounter in 2007.
In April last year, Brajendra Gupta (70) and his wife Shanno Devi (66) were found dead in their home in Badaun district. Their decomposed bodies bore injury marks inflicted by a sharp weapon in several areas including their throats. Since the Badaun police failed to make any headway, the state government wrote to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs recommending a CBI investigation. “CBI has taken up the case on the recommendation of the Uttar Pradesh government. An FIR has been lodged and we will soon leave for Badaun to visit the site of the incident,” said an officer.
According to Badaun police, their team reached Gupta’s house after receiving a distress call from their relative that the couple had not been receiving calls made by their daughter. They found the gate of the house closed and broke open the door. The bodies were found in the kitchen, emitting a foul smell. During investigation, police said that since there had been no forced entry into the house, they suspected it to be a case of robbery. An FIR was lodged against unidentified persons.
The police also suspected the couple’s other son, Hemant, as he had given incorrect information regarding his whereabouts during the time of the murder. They found that the 40-year-old had ‘differences’ with his parents and used to stay separately in Bareilly, where he used to take up odd jobs. Hemant was made to undergo a narco test, but according to Manoj Kumar Singh, SHO, Kotwali police station, the test revealed nothing. “Hemant is now staying in the house from where bodies were recovered. No one has been arrested in the case so far,” he said.
Gupta, a retired engineer of the Public Works Department, had been fighting for justice for his youngest son Mukul. According to the Bareilly police, in 2007, they had got a tip-off that a few men planning to rob a bank were passing through Fatehganj area in a Tata Sumo car. The police claimed that when they intercepted the vehicle, the men inside it opened fire and that Mukul was killed in retaliatory fire.
Gupta filed a petition with the Allahabad High Court, which ordered an investigation by the CBI into the incident. The probe found Mukul’s death to be a fake encounter. The CBI then chargesheeted nine police officers, but was denied permission by the Akhilesh Yadav government to prosecute IPS office J Ravinder Goud, also an accused.