A 74-year-old businessman was found murdered in the bathroom of his flat in Chamarajpet, West Bengaluru, on Wednesday. Police suspect an employee who has gone missing. Gold jewellery and cash have been stolen.
Jugraj Jain was found lying on the bathroom floor with his mouth gagged, hands tied at the back with a plastic rope and another plastic rope strung around his neck.
Jain lived in a flat in King’s Enclave, an apartment complex on 4th Main Road in Chamarajpet, with his younger son Anand Kumar and family. The deceased ran a store called Deepam Electricals on SV Lane in Chickpet. Kumar assisted him in the business.
About six months ago, Kumar hired Bijaram, a Jaipur native, as a salesman-errand runner. Bijaram was given accommodation in the basement of the apartment complex. One of his many responsibilities was to take Jain to the store and bring him back every day.
Son was away on trip to Goa
On May 23, Kumar went on a business trip to Goa. On the same day, his wife Usharani left for her hometown of Shikaripur with her two children. This left Jain alone in the flat. On Tuesday morning, he went to the shop with Bijaram. He shut the shop around 9 pm and reached home 30 minutes later. The next morning turned out to be explosive for his family. Away in Goa, Kumar tried calling up his father but didn’t get a response. So he asked Prateek, his nephew, to go to the flat and find out if anything was wrong.
Prateek reached the flat around 10.30 am and was perplexed when his repeated knocks on the door drew a blank. The door was evidently bolted from the inside.
By this time, Prateek started to feel anxious and panicky. He called their other family members to the flat. A keymaker was summoned, and he opened the door with a duplicate key in half an hour.
There was further surprise when the family didn’t find Jain in the living room or the bedroom. They decided to check the bathroom. What they saw there numbed them with disbelief.
Jain was lying on the bathroom floor, gagged and tied up all over. They quickly untied him and brought him to the bedroom but discovered soon that he was no more. That was not all. The wardroom in the bedroom was found thrust open while empty jewellery boxes were scattered on the bed. The family contacted Bijaram but found both his numbers switched off. Suspecting murder, the family called the police.
Police suspect that Bijaram strangled Jain late on Tuesday night and ran off with the booty. Based on a complaint from Jain’s elder son J Prakash Chand, Chamarajpet police have taken up a case under IPC Sections 302 (murder) and 381 (servant theft). Three special teams have been formed to hunt for Bijaram, a senior police officer said.