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Cops go undercover for months to crack 25-year-old murder case

New Delhi: Kishan Lal, who lived in Tughlaqabad area of Delhi, was stabbed to death on a cold February night in 1997 and the killer was untraceable. Lal, who worked odd jobs, had left behind his wife Sunita, who was pregnant with their first child at the time. Litigation started in the case and the Patiala House Court declared absconding suspect Ramu, a daily-wage earner, as a proclaimed offender. His case file continued to bite dust for two decades until a team of the Delhi Police’s North District, which is trained to handle old cases, laid its hands on it in August 2021. A year later, Sunita got a call from the Delhi Police and was asked to reach Lucknow immediately. The Delhi Police had caught hold of a suspect: a 50-year-old man. They wanted her to confirm the identity of the suspect. Sunita, who was accompanied by her son Sunny (24), confirmed to the police that the man was Ramu, before she fainted. The woman had lost all hopes of getting justice and even closed doors on our police team that reached out to her last year when they started working on this old case, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North District) Sagar Singh Kalsi

The officer heaped praise on the four-member team for cracking the quarter-century old case, noting that it had no eyewitnesses of the murder, no photographs of the accused or clue of his whereabouts. The police team went undercover on several occasions. The team posed as life insurance agents when it went to Uttam Nagar in Delhi, where they had traced a relative of Ramu. The team also managed to reach Khanpur village in Farrukhabad under the same guise when it met relatives of Ramu. It was in Farrukhabad that the police chanced upon a mobile number belonging to Aakash, the son of Ramu. Further efforts led the police team to a Facebook account of Aakash through which he was traced in Lucknow’s Kapurthala area, the officer said. The police met Aakash and enquired the whereabouts of his father Ramu, who now lived under the name of Ashok Yadav. He told the team that he has not met his father in a long time and only knows he now runs an e-rickshaw for a living in Jankipuram area of Lucknow. Hot on the killer’s pursuit, the police team opted for the guise of agents of an e-rickshaw company and contacted several drivers in Jankipuram area. An erickshaw driver led them to Ashok Yadav (Ramu), who was staying near a railway station, on September 14. He was apprehended for questioning; he first denied being Ramu or having lived in Delhi. It was then that Sunita was called to Lucknow. 

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