An unlocked safety latch on the door to the flat of the elderly couple who were found dead in East of Kailash on Saturday has prompted police to probe whether someone had used a spare key to enter and murder the couple.
However, with no sign of robbery — the almirahs were undisturbed and the items inside were intact — there is no conclusive evidence yet that points to the role of an outsider, said an investigating officer who did not wish to be named.
There are two doors to the flat — an iron one and a wooden one. Both can be locked or unlocked from either side. The wooden one, however, has the safety latch.
On Saturday, when police reached the house, they found the two doors locked.
“We accessed the couple’s — Virender Kumar Khaneja and Sarla Khaneja — rear balcony door from their neighbour’s balcony,” said the officer. “A window’s iron grille was cut and the glass smashed to unbolt this door. What has raised our suspicion and forced us to probe the deaths as murder was that the woman’s hands were found bound and the safety latch unlocked. A suicide pact and other possible motives are also being looked into.”
According to the officer, the residents of Mount Kailash apartments, where the couple lived on the ninth floor, told police that the couple had employed a woman as a domestic help.
Police said they are questioning the domestic help on why she did not inform anybody in the building or the police if she had found the flat locked and the couple unreachable for the past week. Investigators are also preparing a list of people who had access to the couple’s house.
A neighbour said the septuagenarian couple was living alone since their son, Sumit Khaneja, died of “prolonged illness” in 2017. “After Sumit’s death, Sarla aunty had begun to miss him very much,” said the neighbour who did not wish to be named. “She mostly stayed indoors and rarely interacted with any one of us. However, Virender uncle was a very positive person and we often found him strolling on the society campus every morning. They were very nice people.”