BENGALURU: More than two years after a decorated Indian Air Force officer was murdered in his gated community residence on the city outskirts, Bengaluru Rural District police have finally cracked the high-profile case, and arrested 12 persons who were part of a robbery gang.
Air Commodore (retd) Parvez Khokhar, 71, was found murdered on November 24, 2014, in the bedroom of his house at Greenway Villa, Huskur Gate. He was a retired air commodore with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment and had started working with Boeing after his retirement. He was also the project director of Tejas - India's Light Combat Aircraft. Every possible motive, including robbery, was investigated, but ruled out as no valuable articles were missing,
The crack in the case came when the gang of 12 were arrested and interrogated following a few break-ins which further helped solve the murder. The gang confessed to having broken into Commoder Parvez Khokar’s house but ended up strangling him after Khokhar caught hold of one of them. They left in haste soon after with no time to rob the house.
Addressing a press meet, Inspector General of Police (Central) Seemanth Kumar Singh identified the arrested persons as Srinivas (31), M Girish (33), V Subramani (32), N Nagaraju (28), S M Suresh (38), Y Manjunath (24), N Subramani (29), N Thimmaraju (22), S Babu (26), M Balu (26) and M Ravindra (30), all residents of Anekal Taluk, and Sathyanarayana (28), a resident of Madiwala.
On the night of November 23, four men of an eight-member gang had entered Khokhar's house while the rest kept watch outside. Khokhar's wife Pramila was sleeping in another bedroom, which was locked from the inside. The robbery attempt at Khokhar's house had failed as the officer got up from his sleep and caught hold of Srinivas. To escape detection, the gang murdered him.
The accused tied his hands and legs before strangling him with a 'dupatta'. The incident took place on 23 November, but came to light only the next morning when his wife Pramila, who entered the villa through the rear door as the front door was locked, found Commodore Parvez Khokar’s body lying on the bed.
Inspector Seemanth Kumar Singh said jewels worth Rs 1.25 crore, a revolver, 21 live bullets and original land documents worth Rs 60 crore have been seized from the accused.
Police said that the recovered items were stolen from a bungalow owned by one Zuber Ahmed near Huskur Gate in August 2016. The accused worked as labourers and bar benders and were involved in 21 crimes most of which were committed in Electronics City and neighbouring areas, as well as some places in Tamil Nadu.
The gang is said to have targeted farmhouses and bungalows, and had maintained a very low profile in neighbouring areas. Police said Gold ornaments worth Rs 35 lakh had been pledged for Rs 10 lakh and the money was shared among them.