New Delhi: A 62-year-old retired Indian Army major who owned a paying guest accommodation was smothered to death Thursday in his house here, police said. All the accused have been arrested.
Pintu Yadav, 27, Arun Yadav, 26 and Ravi Yadav, 21, were arrested along with a juvenile.
All the accused belong to Chhapra in Bihar.
The body of Major Rohit Sethi, who owned the accommodation in west Delhi`s Patel Nagar area, was spotted by a resident of the accommodation around 5.30 a.m.
Accused Ravi, the caretaker of the victim`s accommodation for over two years, also informed neighbours and police.
Sethi lived with his 93-year-old mother, who was sleeping in another room on the ground floor of the two-storeyed house. His wife and son live outside Delhi.
Police said no injury mark was found on his body. However, a cupboard was found open and the house was ransacked.
Major Sethi, who retired from the army in 1982, had won a gallantry award in 1971 when he was serving as Second Lieutenant.
He was also a former president of the Bharatiya Janata Party`s ex-servicemen`s cell.
Police said Maj. Sethi`s juvenile servant, employed four days ago, was missing after the incident. They added this provided them a link to solve the case.
"The servant did not leave any clue but his mobile number helped us arrest all the four accused. Almost all the stolen articles have been recovered," said Additional Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar.
Alok Kumar said three separate teams of Delhi Police were deputed to crack the case.
"Ravi knew the victim was residing alone in the house with his aged mother. Finding them an easy target to make easy money, he hatched a plan to rob the house, the police officer said.
"He roped in three known people, namely Pintu, Arun and a juvenile. The minor got employed in the house as cook-cum-house keeper with the help of Ravi. As part of his plan, details or photograph of the juvenile were not provided to the owner," Alok Kumar said.
According to the officer, Ravi and the employed servant bought sedative tablets from a chemist on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.
"The juvenile gave the sedative to Sethi, mixing it in his food. When Sethi fell asleep, the servant opened the backdoor of the house to facilitate the entry of Arun, Ravi and Pintu into the house," said the official.
"All four strangulated Sethi and stole jewellery items from the almirah of the house before escaping from the spot," he added.