|Household items lie scattered in the bedroom of Ajay and Bandana Singh on Wednesday and (above) a crowd gathers in front of the couple’s DVC colony quarters in Chandrapura. Pictures by Pankaj Singh
A young engineer of Chandrapura Thermal Power Station (CTPS) and his wife were bludgeoned and stabbed to death at their official quarters in the heavily guarded DVC Officers’ Colony, 34km from Bokaro steel city, on Wednesday morning.
Gold and diamond jewellery, electronic goods and other valuables were found missing from cupboards and suitcases in the bedroom, where the bodies were found. The needle of suspicion primarily points to a servant couple who stayed in the outhouse and have been missing since the murder was discovered around 11am. Blood-stained clothes have been found in their room.
According to neighbours, CTPS executive engineer Ajay Kumar Singh (39) and wife Bandana (38) were last seen alive around 7am when they waved off their sons — both students of De Nobili-Chandrapura and aged eight and five — to school, barely a kilometre from the colony.
Four hours later, their maimed bodies were found on the third floor Flat 3E. Both husband and wife had grievous head injuries. Vandana’s throat had been slit and there were also dagger wounds on her face and upper abdomen.
“I saw them waving goodbye to their two sons around 7am, but then did not see them till 10am. I was surprised because the cheerful couple normally exchanged greetings every morning,” neighbour S.K. Prasad said.
Another neighbour said that they also did not see the couple’s servants — Bablu Kumar and his wife, natives of Purulia in Bengal — since morning.
Suspicions were triggered when Singh did not reach work on time. His colleagues tried to reach him on his mobile phone, which remained unanswered. They dialled a neighbour, requesting him to see what the matter was, while an employee was also sent to the colony to enquire why Singh had not reported for duty.
Neighbours and the office staff found the main door of Flat 3E unlocked. In the bedroom, the couple lay on the ground, in a pool of fresh blood, which indicated that the murders took place not more than an hour ago.
A blood-stained iron rod was found near the bed. It was perhaps used to inflict the head wounds.
Bokaro SP Kuldip Dwivedi, who reached Chandrapura for investigations, confirmed that they suspected the servants had a role in the killings.
“Two rooms used by the domestic helps have yielded blood-stained clothes and other objectionable items,” he said, refusing to give further details for the sake of investigations.
The SP has constituted three teams led by inspectors. While one has been sent to Purulia, the mission of the other teams is not being divulged.
“We are getting sketches of the servant couple done and forensic teams are also at work. The case will be cracked soon,” Dwivedi said.
He added that since the colony was heavily guarded, outsider was being ruled out at the moment.
Singh and Bandana were natives of Gaya township in Bihar. They had been living in the DVC colony, which boasts round-the-clock vigil, for the past five years along with more than three dozen CTPS officials. Safety was never a concern until now.