Barely four months after he was nabbed for the kidnap and murder of a teenager, a 17-year-old boy was apprehended again Thursday for murdering a senior citizen in Delhi. Police sources said the juvenile resorted to murder again for the same reason as the first time — for money to become a dancer and participate in reality TV shows.
Police sources he will now be tried under the new Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, which allows juveniles aged between 16 and 18 years and accused of heinous crimes to be tried as adults. In September, the juvenile and a girl, also 17, had allegedly abducted the boy on September 16 last year, on the pretext of a dance programme, and left for Uttarakhand. Then, they had stayed at a friend’s house for a night, but feared police action and decided to kill the boy. Police sources said they strangled him with a belt in Ranikhet, pushed the body off a cliff and returned to Delhi on September 18.
The duo was arrested on September 24 and sent to a correction home. Both were released in November later after their parents produced surety bonds. While the girl started a BA course in Delhi University, the juvenile boy enrolled himself in an open school for class 10.
The juvenile also practiced dance for at least two hours a day in Lodhi Colony and that’s where he identified his next victim, Mithilesh Jain (68). “The suspect’s mother worked in Mrs Jain’s house as domestic help four years ago and his father worked as an electrician in the house. The juvenile used this familiarity to get close to the victim,” said deputy commissioner of police (DCP), south, Premnath.
According to the police, on January 31, the juvenile went to Jain’s house and asked for water. “She let him in and went into the kitchen. He followed inside and when her back was turned, he hit her on the head with a large vessel. She fell down and started screaming, so he smothered her with his hands and killed her,” said a police source. Her body was found the next day.
Police believe the juvenile wanted a sophisticated mobile phone, which he could use to practice his dance moves. He left the house and decamped with two mobile phones, an iPad and Rs 7,000 in cash. Investigators said he also spent just Rs 1,300 from the cash he robbed.” He did not touch the jewellery Jain was wearing and just took away her two mobile phones and an iPad, apart from the cash.
Jain’s body was discovered by her son-in-law Amit Aggarwal the next day and police initially declared it a natural death. Two days later, when the preliminary autopsy report said the cause of death was smothering, police registered a case of murder.
Police sources said they tracked the juvenile down after he switched on one of Jain’s phones. “Her phones were initially switched off but on Wednesday we noticed her phone was active. We tracked his location to Faridabad and apprehended him. We found him sleeping in his house,” a senior police officer said. He added that police also recovered two phones and the iPad missing from Jain’s house.
Of the Rs 7,000 he took from the house, he had spent only Rs 1,300, which he used to buy a pair of jeans and shoes. He told the police, that he wanted to save that money for applying in the talent hunt TV shows.
After killing Jain on Sunday, he went to his father’s electronic items repairing kiosk in Lodhi Colony’s Meharchand Market and started helping him in his work. With the robbed phone, he also practiced his dance at community centre.
He also told police that he approached one of his friends to store some songs into that mobile phone so that he could practice on them.