It has been one of the gruesome incidents that haunted the temple city. In September 2006, unknown assailants killed a cement manufacturer Rajinder Bhushan Chopra along with his wife Madhu, teenage daughter Solani, a domestic servant and driver, leaving absolutely no clue, not even a fingerprint.
While legs of three males had been tied, their mouths gagged before killing them with rods, Solani was strangulated to death and Madu was killed by suffocation using a pillow. Both the females had burn injuries on various parts including breasts and FSL experts suggest a lighter was used. Chopra’s two sons had survived as they were studying in Australia.
For all these years, police have been detaining people – friends, business partners, rivals and whoever they thought could be part of the conspiracy. Finally, last week they pounced on a ‘high-value’ target – Trilochan Singh Wazir, a transporter who once was the ruling National Conference’s lawmaker in the state legislative council.
Police’s Special Investigation Team arrested Wazir, his brother Ajab Singh and Raju Simbliya on basis of a statement by Surinder Singh who alleged the trio were part of the a 5-member gang that hatched conspiracy to kill Chopras.
They are being interrogated for the money that has gone to assassins and the motive for the murders. Wazir and Chopra, who once were very close to each other, had parted ways and were rivals in business. Chopra was a small time cement manufacturer who has made his entry into railway contract jobs. Wazir is a transporter who was almost exclusively managing the transport of FCI supplies – one of the biggest agencies in J&K beside the army.
Reports appearing in newspapers suggest the Chopra killings was part of the gang warfare in Jammu that involves business, politics, musclemen and the contract killers.
Even in this case, police is reportedly investigating some of its lower rung recruits who might have played a role, directly or indirectly. Even son of a Congress leader is also being investigated. Interestingly, Wazir was reportedly aware of the investigations being directed towards him. He had once petitioned chief minister against the security agencies tapping his phone unauthorisedly. This became eventually his problem as the NC decided against fielding him again for the LC seat wherefrom he retired on April 18.
Wazir, interestingly, has remained a business partner of Nagar Singh, who is currently behind bars in two cases. The Nago has also been booked in this case. Apparently, police feels that it was through Nago only that the contractor killers were arranged for annihilation of the Chopra family.
Kala, the person on whose statement the arrests were made has told reporters that he Chopra’s expansion was taken a threat by his business rivals that led to his killing. The murders are being attributed to a tribal mercenary Sangram Singh, who lives in MPs Guna belt. Barring one person, police have arrested most of the killer gang and now a supplementary challan is being submitted against the conspirators.
Interestingly, the state government had approached the CBI for investigation that took a long time in studying the case only to convey a polite no. The case was finally solved by a special investigating team (SIT) of police which replaced an earlier SIT that had failed.