The victims, Pragya and Snehlata. (Express photo: Amit Mehra)
Suspicious that both his wife and daughter-in-law were having extramarital affairs, a 64-year-old retired school teacher stabbed both of them to death with a kitchen knife early Friday morning at his Rohini home. The victims were identified as Snehlata Chaudhary (62), a retired DTC officer, and Pragya Chaudhary (35), an air hostess with IndiGo Airlines. The man, Satish Chaudhary, was eventually confined in a room by his younger son till police arrested him.
The women were rushed to the hospital — while Pragya died on the way, her mother-in-law succumbed during treatment. Police said the women were sleeping in the same room as Pragya’s two children, aged one and four, when the man entered the room and went on a rampage. He first stabbed his wife twice in the abdomen, but she managed to run away to wake up her son.
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“Saurabh, the couple’s younger son, was sleeping in another room. Before killing the women, Satish locked his son’s room from outside. Snehlata managed to unlock it and alerted her son,” said a senior police officer. Saurabh, who works as a software engineer in SAP, Bengaluru, had come to Delhi a day before the incident.
Saurabh rushed to Pragya’s room, and saw his father standing on the bed, stabbing his sister-in-law. S D Mishra, DCP (Rohini), said Saurabh tried to save Pragya but Satish threatened to kill him too. The men fought and Saurabh suffered injuries on his left hand, police said. “He eventually overpowered his father and managed to take the children and the injured women out of the bedroom. He locked his father inside and made a PCR call at 5.55 am,” Mishra said.
By this time, neighbours had woken up to screams coming out of the house. Akansha Gupta (19) looked out of her house and saw Chaudhary’s main door open. “There was blood everywhere. After a few minutes, police came and took Pragya to the hospital. Saurabh bhaiya called my mother and handed over the children to us. Snehlata aunty was conscious and asked me to give milk to the children... now we found out that she too is no more,” she said.
While the one-year-old boy didn’t stop crying until Pragya’s family came to receive him, his elder sister kept on asking for her “daadu”, neighbours said. According to police, during questioning, Satish said his entire family was planning to leave him and shift to Gurgaon as they were fed up of him. Satish claimed the women were having extramarital affairs, and that he had stopped talking to both of them.
“Satish said he woke up at 4 am and meditated for some time. He said he felt disturbed that the women would be living somewhere else,” said a senior officer.
Pragya’s husband Gaurav (36) works in Singapore as a software engineer for IBM. The couple got married six years ago, and Pragya lived with her husband abroad before moving to her in-laws’ house in Rohini. Police said Gaurav is on his way to Delhi.