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Family of 3 murdered in Delhi; long list of suspects

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:13 IST

The Delhi Police, on Sunday, began investigating the murders of three members of a family who were found strangled in their Old Rajinder Nagar house, Hindustan Times reported.

The victims are Sanjay Sonaria, 51, a government employee who had been suspended for graft, his wife Jyoti, 45, and their son Pawan, a 20-year-old engineering student. Their strangulated bodies were found with pieces of clothing wrapped around their necks. Police believe the motive was a property dispute.

"The murders seem to have been committed on Saturday night," joint commissioner of police SK Gautam told the Hindustan Times. "We have begun questioning the victims' relatives, neighbours and family friends." Jyoti's mother Swadesh told the police that she last spoke to her daughter on Saturday night.

The bodies were discovered at 8.30 on Sunday morning when the family's domestic help arrived for work and found the door ajar. She found Jyoti on the floor and Pawan on a mattress with his hands tied.

Initially, the police, summoned by Jyoti's mother who had been called by the domestic help, believed that Sanjay had committed the murder. But his body was also found an hour later, in a closet in another room.

The police believe the murders could be motivated by a property dispute or personal enmity. Sonaria, they learned, had been suspended from his job after detention by the CBI in a corruption case. He had 12 cases of cheating and forgery against him.

A property dealer, Sonaria had been fighting a property case against his younger brother.

The police believe there were four killers and that they were known to the Sonarias since there was no sign of forced entry. The house had been ransacked, possibly in an attempt to make the murders look like a robbery gone wrong.

Deepak Mishra, special commissioner of police (law and order), said that even the flat in which the Sonarias resided was the subject of a property dispute. It had been sold, but the Sonarias had not vacated it. A defunct CCTV installed in the lane could offer no clues.

First published: 11 January 2016, 9:43 IST