NEW DELHI: In May 2004, a man was murdered, apparently by his wife’s alleged lover in northwest Delhi’s Bawana. The killer was suspected to be an ex-Navy steward with a few cases of petty crime against him. But even as cops were closing in on him, the 43-year-old suspect died when the truck he was riding to Jodhpur in went up in flames. Police then closed the homicide investigation.

Two decades later, police found that Balesh Kumar, who had killed Rajesh in Bawana in 2004, didn’t die. On Tuesday, police said they got a tip-off that a Najafgarh property dealer, Aman Singh, 63, was actually the fugitive, who had faked his death by getting two labourers burnt in the truck.

Man staged own death

Police claimed Kumar’s wife knew about the deception but had got death benefits and insurance money, and was living off her husband’s navy pension for 20 years.
2 Others Killed To Avoid 1 Murder Charge
Special commissioner of police (crime) Ravindra Yadav said on Tuesday, “To avoid being caught for one murder, Kumar apparently hatched a sinister plot to stage his own death and committed two more murders in the process. He hired two labourers – one of them of the same height and build as himself – and burnt them alive in his truck after getting them drunk.”
Kumar then planted evidence to make it seem that one of the burnt bodies was his. And even as he created a different identity and lived a life of freedom, his wife continued receiving pension benefits.
But all good things come to an end. A case of fraud that he had committed, besides the murder of Rajesh, and was wanted in a case of burglary registered at Tilak Marg police station in 2000 did him in. Following up the 23-year-old burglary case, sub-inspector Mahak Singh of the Crime Branch tracked him down to Najafgarh after receiving a tip-off from an informant.
“Not only did Kumar assume a new name but also got all supportive documents like Aadhaar card, pan card and driving licence issued from various authorities in the name of Aman Singh,” special CP Yadav revealed.
Kumar’s wife, Santosh, the cops said, was complicit in the deceit and is absconding. She was not only aware about who murdered Rajesh but also about her husband’s whereabouts. But she fraudulently continued claiming the pension as an ex-Navy man’s wife.
“The investigative team comprising DCP Ankit Singh, ACP Pankaj Arora and inspector Devendra were probing the case,” said a senior police officer. “The team has approached court for a non-bailable warrant against Kumar’s wife.” Kumar himself has been sent to judicial custody after an interrogation.
Kumar will now be formally arrested in the FIR number 146/2004 registered in connection with Rajesh’s murder at Bawana police station. The initial information suggests that Kumar’s brother was also involved in the killing of Rajesh and was arrested sometime later even as Kumar was plotting his elaborate plan to disappear. The investigators have sought more information from the local police.
The Crime Branch has also registered a fresh FIR against Kumar. Not much is known about the two labourers he killed apart from the fact that they belonged to Bihar. Kumar revealed during interrogation that their names were Mukesh and Manoj. As the duo didn’t have families living with them, nobody pursued their sudden disappearance after the initial action taken by police at the time.
“Kumar has been interrogated to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the killings, the beneficiaries involved and his aides,” said Yadav. “His pension form details from the authorities have been obtained, which confirm that his wife was receiving his pension benefits.”
Kumar will be taken into custody in the burglary case. “As he had taken the truck to Jodhpur and set the two labourers on fire there, we have informed the police station concerned about the developments,” a senior cop said.
Regarding his stint in the navy, the cops said that Kumar joined the force as a steward in 1981 and served till 1996. “After retirement, he started residing at Santosh Park in Uttam Nagar with his family. In 2000, he took to crime and was booked at Tilak Marg police station. He didn’t look back after that. At present, he was working as a property dealer in Najafgarh,” special C P Yadav added.





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