After the brutality in Masuri area of Ghaziabad on Saturday evening, the accused fled with jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh cash. Both of them were arrested later that night.
Police said the accused — Uma, who is in her early 30s, and her boyfriend Sonu, aged 28 — were known to the victims’ family as they were from the same village in Uttar Pradesh. Around 7.30pm on Saturday, they came to the house of Dolly (29) and started a casual conversation over tea.
Dolly was not alone at home. Her three children — Meenakshi (7), Rudra (5) and Gori (10) — were taking tuitions from 17-year-old Anshu, a Class 9 student who stayed in the same house with her family as a tenant. Dolly’s father-in-law and husband, who run a chaat stall in the local market, were out for work.
After having spent a few minutes chatting with Dolly, the accused whipped out a gun and locked the 29-year-old woman and the children in a room. They also bolted the main door from inside.
According to police, Sonu and Uma ransacked the entire house, but could not find any cash or valuables. They then pointed a gun at Dolly and asked her about jewellery. When Dolly refused to answer despite sustained questioning, Sonu shot Anshu dead. He then fired at Dolly, who slumped to the ground and lost consciousness. Aware that she was still alive, Sonu brought a knife and screwdriver from the kitchen and stabbed Dolly at several places as she screamed for help.
All this while, Uma kept asking Dolly about the cash and valuables.
It wasn’t just the brutality of the assault, but also that it unfolded in front of children as young as five years old, that sent shockwaves across police circles. Every time Dolly refused to let the accused know where she had kept the jewellery, Sonu and Uma slapped the kids hard. At one point, Sonu brought a grinding stone from the kitchen and hit the head of seven-year-old Meenakshi with it.
He was going to slit the throat of Gori when Dolly mumbled out the whereabouts of the valuables.
But that was hardly the end of it. Unhappy with the amount of cash and jewellery kept in one corner of an almirah, Sonu aimed his pistol at Dolly and pressed the trigger. But the bullet somehow got stuck in the barrel. He then picked up the grinding stoned and smashed the woman’s face with it.
When little Rudra and Gori tried to save their mother, Sonu pinned them to the ground and slit their throat too. The accused left them to die and fled the house.
Around half an hour later, when Dolly’s father in law Lokman Singh Jadaun returned to the house, he found Rudra and Gori groaning in pain. With help from neighbours, he took Dolly and the children to a nearby hospital. Dolly and Anshu were declared dead on arrival, while the three other children were referred to Sarvodaya Hospital in Kavi Nagar.
Doctors said Gori and Rudra were stable, but the condition of Meenakshi, who was hit on the head with the stone, was quite critical.
It was Gori who led the cops to the accused. “Uma amma aayi thi tailor uncle ke saath aur sabko mar diya (Uma aunty had come with tailor uncle and killed everyone),” she told the police.
Ghaziabad SSP Kalanidhi Naithani reached the hospital and formed five teams to nab the accused. “We arrested Uma from her house in Sihani Gate. The jewellery was also recovered from there. She confessed to the robbery and murder and told us that Sonu had fled with the cash,” said Iraj Raza, SP (rural).
Sonu was arrested around 1am on Sunday after a brief exchange of fire with the police on the Dasna flyover.
“He was trying to flee the city on a bike. The police asked him to surrender, but he tried to flee. The cops fired at him and a bullet hit him in the leg. The money was recovered from him along with a pistol,” Raza said.
Police said they were still trying to find out why Sonu and Uma were so desperate to have the money and jewellery and what drove them to resort to such brutality on Dolly and her children, whom they had known for years.
Uma has told the police that they had come to know that Jadaun had recently sold a property and had kept all the money in the house.
On the way to the police station, she told this reporter: “Yes, I had planned to rob them with Sonu. But I did not kill anyone.” Both the accused were booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), 380 (theft) and under relevant sections of the Arms Act.