Twist in murder case: money, not revenge, possible motive

Sep 18, 2012, 06:48 IST | Shiva Devnath

More than 30 college girls and small-time models were interrogated by cops probing the murder of 65-year-old Navraj Kawatra � son of acclaimed Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam.

Kawatra was killed in his Borivli photo studio on Friday. MiD DAY had reported the incident on September 15 (‘Punjabi writer’s son murdered’). Some of those questioned told the police that the deceased claimed he had Rs 15 crore with him at his office. Cops suspect that this cash may have been the motive behind the murder.

Navraj Kawatra

Officers investigating the case said the two assailants perhaps had no intention of killing the victim. However, they suffocated him after the latter screamed out and alerted neighbours.

“The two culprits had not brought any weapon with them, nor were they carrying any ropes to tie up the victim – in fact they used lingerie to bind him,” said an officer from the investigating team.

Cops added that the probe so far point towards the fact that the two men knew that Kawatra probably had Rs 15 crore in his possession from the sale of a bungalow in Delhi.

“The girls have also told us that Kawatra used to brag about money and told them about this recent deal. The intention of the duo was to rob the cash by threatening him. Kawatra, who tried to impress the girls and models with his wealth, had told many of his clients about the transaction. We suspect that the word might have reached the culprits,” an officer said. The girls have also told the police that Kawatra used to help them out with money if they were in need.

Educated guess
According to the police theory — based on circumstantial evidence — the duo entered the studio on Friday and threatened Kawatra to give up the money. However, when the victim resisted and raised an alarm, the robbers panicked. To silence Kawatra, the duo gagged him, and tied up his limbs, “Meanwhile, Kawatra’s neighbour rang the doorbell hearing his scream. Unnerved by this, the robbers may have smothered the victim, killing him in the process,” added the officer.

The two then waited, and when the coast appeared clear they ran out of the office without realising they had been spotted by a few residents of the building.

“Kawatra’s assistant has been detained as he knew most details of his life,” added the officer. 

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