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Delhi engineer murdered by friend for ransom

Delhi,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Fri, 06 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) In a murder meticulously planned by three friends, a young engineer was abducted, strangled and his body buried in a deep pit lined with 40 kg of salt. After the gruesome deed, the friends called up the engineer's father to demand Rs.1 crore ransom, police said Friday.


The body of Johny Gupta, 23, was found early Friday from a warehouse in Kamruddin Nagar in west Delhi's Nihal Vihar, three days after he was kidnapped. The three accused, one of who was close to Gupta, have been arrested.


This is the second case of kidnapping and murder for ransom involving friends in the national capital within a fortnight.


"Gupta was killed on April 3 around 9 p.m., hours after his close friend Anoop (25) took him to a godown in Kamruddin Nagar in Nihal Vihar. Police received Gupta's missing person complaint around 11.30 p.m. His family received a ransom call of Rs.1 crore a little later," said R.S. Krishnaiah, Joint Commissioner of Police.


Anoop, a marketing executive, and his friends Anil, 26, a tempo driver, and Avinash, 36, the warehouse owner, were arrested Thursday night.


"Anoop, mastermind of the case, was arrested after tracing the call details of Gupta's mobile. The father of the deceased had received some money in a land deal. Anoop and his friends wanted to get hold of the money and they executed the kidnap-murder," Krishnaiah claimed.


The accused revealed that Anoop asked Gupta to come near Punjabi Bagh flyover on the fateful day.


"Gupta was made to park his motorcycle at Peeragarhi metro station, from where both went to the godown owned by Avinash," he said.


According to Krishnaiah, Anil and Avinash were waiting for them at the warehouse. Gupta tried to leave the place but was not allowed to do so. He was strangled with a wire.


After killing him, they allegedly buried the body inside a pit they had dug a week ago in the warehouse, and even covered the body with a large quantity of salt to make it decompose faster.


Romil Baaniya, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, said Anil arranged for 40 kg salt to facilitate rapid decomposition of the body, while Avinash, an MCom degree holder, offered to detain Gupta in his rented semi-constructed godown.


Anoop had left the place on pretext of some work. At around 9 p.m, when Gupta insisted he wanted to leave, Anil and Avinash refused to let him go, and during the struggle that ensued the two strangled Gupta, police said.


They then cooly made their Rs.1 crore ransom demand from Gupta's father, Ravinder Kumar, that night.


They were planning to call up after two days to tell him where to bring the money, but were nabbed.


"The accused were planning to receive the ransom amount from Ravinder Kumar by asking him to board the Gomti Express from Delhi to Lucknow," said the official, adding that they planned to take the money mid-journey.


However, they were arrested before they could make this call, Baaniya said.


Barely 15 days ago, a teenaged boy was kidnapped and murdered in the capital. Ashish Kumar Garg, son of a Dwarka-based businessman, went missing March 21 and later his body was found. He too was killed by his friends for ransom, police said.


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