|Infamous four: Rahul Singh and his family members at Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi’s (top) office after their arrest from Bengal on Thursday. (Pankaj Singh)
Bokaro’s brutal murders prompted express arrests.
Within 24 hours of the fatal attack on CTPS engineer Ajay Kumar Singh and wife Bandana at their official quarters in Chandrapura, 34km from the steel city, a joint team of Bokaro and Bengal police on Thursday nabbed four persons, including the servant couple who masterminded the crime for gold and money.
A major portion of the Rs 1.25-lakh booty — gold chain, mangal sutra, earrings, nose ring, silver payal, Rs 10,000 in cash and ATM card — has been recovered too.
Servant Rahul Singh (30), wife Sanwali (26), mother Seema Devi (50) and brother Amit (28) were picked up from their relative’s house in Mutor village in Arsha area of Purulia district in the neighbouring state just when the overnight rich family was preparing to flee to Calcutta and then perhaps to New Delhi.
Police said the amateur gang made one cardinal mistake. They forgot to switch off Ajay Kumar’s stolen smart phone, which eventually helped the crackdown team to zero in on the location.
During interrogation, Rahul and Sanwali confessed to the crime, saying their lust for gold and diamond prompted the conspiracy. The plot was hatched on the ground floor servant quarters five days ago.
Ajay Kumar (39) and Bandana (38) were found maimed and killed in their Flat 3E on the top floor of an apartment block in DVC Officers’ Colony around 11am on Wednesday, fours hours after they waved off their two sons to school.
Sources in the police said that a month ago, Bandana flaunted jewellery worth Rs 10 lakh at a social function in Chandrapura. A dazzled Sanwali coaxed her husband to get them for her. Rahul summoned his mother and younger brother from their native Bodam village in Purulia to help. The two were asked to keep close watch on the engineer and his family.
On Wednesday, after his sons went to De Nobili School, Ajay Kumar — who had returned from a late shift the night before — decided to catch some sleep. Bandana busied herself in the kitchen.
While Sanwali was already doing household chores, Rahul entered the flat on the pretext of watering flowerpots. An unsuspecting Bandana was making rotis for breakfast, when the servant couple grabbed her from behind. As Sanwali held her tight, her husband flashed a dagger and slit Bandana’s throat before she could raise an alarm.
The husband-wife duo, along with Amit, then ambushed a sleeping Ajay Kumar. They bludgeoned him with an iron rod and then stabbed him in the chest and neck till he died.
Later, the trio cleaned out the flat of cash and jewellery — though most of it had been deposited back to bank locker — before sneaking back to the servant quarters.
Rahul’s mother, who had their belongings packed for the Purulia run, offered them fresh clothes, but forgot to carry the bloodstained ones along. These were later recovered during a police search to nail Rahul and Sanwali.
Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi contacted his counterpart in Purulia Sudhir Kumar who did a check on the suspects. The four were learnt to have reached Mutor via Jaina More in Bokaro late on Wednesday evening. Mobile phone tracking led police to the hideout.
“It was an excellent team work,” Dwivedi said. He urged residents to always remember to register information about domestic helps with police.