In a horrendous incident that puts friendship and trust in gluttony for property and money, a 45-year-old property dealer, along with his family of five, was charred to death by his close friend and business partner.
The accused, 27-year-old Sahib Khan alias Bunty, along with three contract killers hired by him, were arrested on Sunday for killing his business partner and friend Choudhary Munawwar Hassan, a Delhi-based Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, and his four children and wife.
What came out as a revelation during the investigation is quite shocking.
The reason behind the killings was Bunty’s voracity to usurp the six properties of Hassan which are cumulatively worth around Rs 6 crore.
To get the task done while dodging the police, Bunty had created strong alibis.
He had hired three “contract killers” for this job and wasn’t even present at the spot where Hassan was killed. He had even made the contract killers call him multiple times to suggest that he was killed due to some rivalry.
Bunty revealed to police that he had already killed Hassan’s wife and children last month and had buried their bodies at different places in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and Burari in north Delhi.
Hassan, who was then in Tihar Jail in a rape case registered against him in 2015, had been informed by his ‘friend’ Bunty that his wife and children has been missing since April 18.
When Hassan got released on bail on May 17, he approached the Burari police and got a missing complaint registered.
From the bail process to the search of his family, Bunty was the one helping Hassan. Little did Hassan know that his friend had already killed his family and was looking for an opportunity to eliminate him and take over the disputed properties owned by him.
Two days ago, Hassan was found dead in the bathroom of his residence in Burari’s Bhagat Colony. The police had been informed about the murder by none other than Bunty.
Police registered a case and began questioning Bunty about the circumstances in which he had found Hassan dead.
“Bunty said he had been repeatedly calling Hassan on his phone but was not receiving any response because of which he decided to visit his house and check on him. But his statements were inconsistent,” said Jatin Narwal, DCP (North).
When grilled for hours, Bunty confessed to using contract killers to get Hassan shot dead.
Interrogated further about Hassan’s wife and children, he allegedly confessed to getting them murdered as well. Bunty allegedly said he got friendly with Hassan’s family during the politician’s time in jail even as he waited for the right time to strike.
Bunty was known to Hassan and his family -- Sonia and four children, Aqib, Shaqib, Arzoo and Arshi – for last several years. In the past one month, he had been visiting Hassan’s home frequently.
Hassan worked as a property dealer and along with Bunty he was involved in dealing in disputed properties.
Narwal said Bunty had even got forged documents prepared for transfer of the properties in his name.
Bunty told police that on April 20, he took Hassan's wife and daughters to their relative's house in Saharanpur. While returning to Delhi, he killed them with the help of a contract killer.
The accused claimed that he hired contract killers for Rs three lakh to eliminate Hassan's family. Hassan's wife and daughters were shot dead and buried at a farm in Meerut.
On April 22, when Hassan's sons reached Bunty's office in Burari to inquire about their mother and sisters, they were also killed and their bodies buried there.
Meanwhile, police said they have exhumed the highly-decomposed bodies of Hassan's sons from five feet beneath the ground in Burari under the supervision of the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM).
The accused and his aides had put salt on the bodies while burying them to ensure their quicker decomposition, an officer said.
A police team has been sent to Meerut to recover the bodies of Hassan's wife and his daughters.
Hassan was accused in several cases, including those of rape, land grabbing, attempt to murder, kidnapping. The rape case for which he was lodged in Tihar Jail was filed in 2015 and he was convicted this year in January.
Two more contract killers are involved in the case and a manhunt has been launched to nab them.