NEW DELHI: A physiotherapist contracted to kill a bank cashier by a man in love with the target’s wife used a method preferred by Cold War assassins: he injected the man with a lethal cocktail of drugs in a Delhi market on Saturday.
The physiotherapist, identified as Prem, was, however, caught by the public and handed over to the police. The “principal” in this case has been identified as a gym trainer named Anish Yadav.
According to sleuths, the victim, identified as Ravi Kumar (27), had been walking back home after a day’s work at Kotak Mahindra Bank.
By 7.15pm, he had reached a movie theatre in Sadar Bazar where he felt something pierce his neck. When he touched his neck, he saw blood on his hand. Kumar collapsed within seconds but managed to turn around and catch hold of the person standing behind him.
Bystanders spotted the man falling and rushed to help. The suspect was caught and the police informed. Kumar was rushed to nearby hospital and admitted to the ICU. He battled for life the entire night but was declared dead on Sunday morning.
DCP (north Delhi) Jatin Narwal said Prem and Yadav have been arrested on charges of murder and poisoning and are being interrogated in police remand. The woman’s statement will be recorded as well.
Police said interrogation of the suspects revealed Kumar had married a woman whose former love interest had not gotten over her. If the banker was gone, the woman would be his, the gym trainer, Anish Yadav, believed. Yadav had studied with her till they graduated from college and, despite several proposals from Yadav, the woman had married Kumar.
Yadav married in February 2016 but could not forget his first love. He deserted his wife in a few months and began to plot to get the woman he loved, police said. Yadav surfed the Internet for ideas for a foolproof plan and chose this one. Then he hired the physiotherapist, who was a neighbour of the woman he loved, to eliminate the “hurdle”.
The crime bears resemblance to the assassination of Bulgarian dissident writer and BBC journalist in 1978 in London in what became known as the “Umbrella Murder”.
Georgi Markov was injected with a ricin pellet probably fired by an “umbrella gun”. A similar crime was reported in Hannover, Germany, in 2011 when a man was injected with poison on the street. The two murders remain unsolved.
The suspected killer, Prem, confessed that he had carried out the killing, police said. His interrogation led them to Anish Yadav, who had hired him for Rs 1.5 lakh. Prem, police said, had advised Yadav to use drugs like Midazolam, Fortwin and Phenergan to prepare a lethal poison. Prem told the police that he had stolen the drugs from a hospital.
His version is being verified. The two men behaved like professionals, police said. Yadav had accompanied Prem to the spot selected for the murder. To build alibis, they had left their mobile phones at their homes in the Palam area.