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Police Arrest Third Suspect In Murder of Ex-Union Minister’s Wife

Police Arrest Third Suspect In Murder of Ex-Union Minister's Wife

Kitty Kumaramangalam murder: The third accused was arrested from Madhya Pradesh, officials said (File).

New Delhi:

The police have arrested the third accused in the killing of Kitty Kumaramangalam, the wife of late Union minister P Rangaraja Kumaramangalam, officials said on Monday.

Robbed ornaments worth over Rs 50 lakh has also been recovered from the possession of the accused who was arrested from Madhya Pradesh, officials said.

The late Union minister’s wife was smothered to death allegedly by Suraj along with two others on the night of July 6 during an attempted robbery at her home in southwest Delhi’s Vasant Vihar.

A driver by profession, Suraj, a resident of Mahipalpur, had been on the run since the day of the incident.

The police had earlier arrested two accused — Raju (24), a washman in the area where the victim resided, and Rakesh Raj (34), a resident of Delhi’s Munirka and a driver working in the Ministry of External Affairs on contract basis, officials said.

Police said over 900 grams of robbed ornaments, including gold, silver and a diamond necklaces worth over Rs 50 lakh have been recovered from Suraj as he was not able to sell them.

However, interrogation is underway to ascertain if Suraj had sold any of the robbed ornaments in Jaipur where he fled soon after the incident, they added.

Four teams of the Delhi Police had been conducting raids in Rajasthan and other neighbouring states to catch Suraj, police said.

The police got a tip-off about his location with the help of a cab driver in Jaipur with whom Suraj had been travelling during his stay there, according to police.

Using technical surveillance, the last location of the accused was found to be near Jaipur but later his mobile phone was found to be switched off, police said.

“When our team went to Jaipur, we found out that Suraj had stayed there at a hotel on the national highway. We scanned through the camera footage and spotted the vehicle number of a taxi in which Suraj had been roaming.

“Based on vehicle number, we got in touch with the cab driver named Irfan,” said Ingit Pratap Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest).

When Irfan was questioned, he revealed that Suraj had bought a new mobile phone from a shop in Jaipur. On July 10, the location of the newly purchased mobile phone was traced to Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh. The mobile phone was being used by Suraj’s brother-in-law Chotu Adivasi, he said.

“We immediately rushed our teams to Tikamgarh and conducted raid at his brother-in-law’s residence where Suraj was found living with his wife and children.

“He tried to escape but he was caught by our team. Locals also pelted stones on our team when they tried to apprehend him but with the help of local police, he was arrested and brought to police station,” Mr Singh said.

Based on his disclosure, the robbed jewellery containing 520 grams of gold along with diamond and about 400 grams of silver with gems and robbed cash Rs 9,020 were recovered from his possession, he said.

During the probe, the accused kept putting the onus on Raju but Suraj is being suspected to be the main conspirators behind the killing as he was the one who fled with valuables worth lakhs, police said.

However, facts will be revealed once all the three accused are interrogated separately and their versions corroborated, the police said.

Financial crisis during the Covid pandemic and the greed for money led the three men to execute the murder-cum-robbery which they had been planning for over a month, police said.

The victim was an easy target for them as Raju had been working in the area as a washman for over five years and visited the victim’s house on a regular basis, the police said.

The locker looted by the accused was recovered from Raju on Wednesday, the day he was arrested but it only had essential documents while Rs 60,000 robbed cash was recovered after Rakesh was arrested, they said.

During the incident, the three men first overpowered the victim’s 33-year-old house help Mithila, who sustained injuries but was left alive as the accused were in hurry to escape after executing the robbery.

P Rangarajan Kumaramangalam served as an Union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government between 1998 and 2001.