Murder of elderly couple in Badaun: After 6 years of probe, CBI joins (blood) dots to zero in on killers

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Six years after partially decomposed bodies of a 77-year-old retired government official and his 73-year-old wife were found from their Badaun city home, the CBI has zeroed in on the possible killer or killers with the help of DNA extracted from blood samples found at the crime scene.

Brajendra Kumar Gupta and his wife Sanno Gupta, who used to stay alone in the City Kotwali area of Badaun, were found dead on April 8, 2015. Their bodies had injury marks of sharp-edged weapons. A year after their murders, the probe was transferred to the CBI as the UP Police failed to make any headway in the case.

Notably, Brajendra Kumar Gupta, a former PWD engineer, was pursuing the case of an alleged fake encounter by UP Police in Bareilly in 2007 in which his youngest son, Mukul, was killed. The CBI, which has also investigated the fake encounter case, had booked 10 UP Police officials. In the 2007 ‘fake’ encounter case in which Brajendra Kumar Gupta’s youngest son was killed, the CBI took over the probe on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.
In 2014, the CBI filed a chargesheet against nine UP Police officials. Though the CBI had booked the then assistant superintendent of police J Ravinder Goud in the case, it could not file the chargesheet against him as the then Samajwadi Party government denied the central agency’s request of prosecution sanction against him. Goud is currently DIG of Gorakhpur Range.

Last week (November 18, 2021), the CBI arrested a 40-year-old neighbour of the Guptas — Yogesh Verma, a driver — for being allegedly involved in the murder of the elderly couple. A CBI official involved in the investigation said that the DNA test of a blood sample found at the crime spot matched with Yogesh Verma’s elder brother, Uday Prakash Verma, who died by suicide in 2019, four years after the twin murders.

The CBI official said that on preliminary investigation, the motive of the murders seems to be robbery. “We are
still trying to find out whether there is any other motive behind the twin murders. We are trying to find if robbery was purposely shown by the accused to mislead the direction of the investigation. The role of the policemen booked in the fake encounter, pursued by the Brajendra Kumar Gupta, is still being probed,” said the senior CBI official.

According to the official, the forensic teams picked blood samples from the crime spot and sent them for DNA testing. After the DNA of a blood sample found on a wall of the house did not match with victims’, the CBI began collecting blood samples of all those people who used to frequent the Gupta household and sent them for examination.

After the blood samples did not match with anyone, the agency collected blood samples of the neighbours.

“We collected blood samples of over four dozen people, got the brain-mapping test done on seven and narco tests on four others. At first, the blood report of 71-year-old Radhey Shyam Verma, a neighbour of the Guptas, slightly matched with the blood sample found at the crime spot. We then decided to collect the blood samples of other family members of Radhey Shyam for examination. During inquiry, we came to know that Radhey Shyam’s elder son Uday Prakash Verma had committed suicide in January 2019 and his younger son Yogesh Verma used to not live with the parents. The forensic test result showed a great amount of similarity between DNA of Uday’s children and the DNA found in the blood sample at the crime spot. This led to the CBI conclude that Uday was involved in the murders. We also searched Radhey Shyam’s house and recovered a blood-stained shirt of Uday along with a handkerchief and a towel with bloodstains. The forensic test result of Uday’s blood-stained clothes is still pending. It is being matched with the Gupta’s son to confirm that the clothes had victims’ blood on it,” the official said.

The CBI also questioned then Uday’s ex-wife, who married another person in Maharashtra after his death. “She told the CBI that under the influence of alcohol and drugs her husband used to talk about killing someone during a robbery. She also told CBI that along with her husband, her father-in-law Radhey Shyam, brother-in-law Yogesh Verma and sister-in-law were involved in the murder of the elderly couple,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the CBI came to know that Brajendra Kumar Gupta had got back his mortagaged jewellery for Rs 10 lakh in December 2014, months before his death. However, when the CBI searched his house, they did not find any cash or jewellery. Also, the CBI team did not find gold in the bank locker of the Guptas.

“The investigators came to know that after the murder of the elderly couple, Uday Verma and his brother Yogesh went to Haldwani and from there to Nainital where they stayed in hotels. The probe found that the brothers sold a portion of the looted gold jewellery with the help of a local resident. The information was corroborated by a local youth in Haldwani, who helped the brothers to melt the stolen gold,” said the CBI official.

The agency also collected details of the bank accounts of Yogesh Verma and found that around Rs 12 lakh was deposited in his bank accounts between 2015 and 16. More than Rs 70,000 was also deposited in the bank account of Radhey Shyam, who died over a week ago.

“We suspect Yogesh Verma’s role because Uday deposited money in his bank account instead of depositing it in the account of his third brother. Radhey Shyam Verma has three sons,” said the official.

According to the residents in the area, the official said, Yogesh’s financial condition was not good before 2015 as he was jobless. However, soon after the murders of Guptas, the financial condition of Uday and Yogesh changed drastically and their lifestyle improved, the official added.

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