2003 Sajni murder case: Mother says last saw Tarun Jinaraj on August 15, does not know where he is | Ahmedabad News
While the Ahmedabad Police tries to trace 45-year-old Tarun Jinaraj, absconding since August 19 after being granted temporary bail by the Gujarat High Court in a case lodged in connection with the murder of his wife on Valentine’s Day in 2003, his mother Annamma Chacko said on Friday that she last saw him on August 15 and does not know where he is currently.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chacko (74), said: “I have mortgaged my gold, my pension, whatever I am getting… I took loans from so many people because I am the only one who can ensure that my son comes out of jail. I also took loans from Tarun’s friends.”
“On August 11, my son (Jinaraj) and I went to my home in Madhya Pradesh and we had return tickets (for Ahmedabad) on August 15. I still have the tickets with me. He came back (to Ahmedabad) on August 15 and was supposed to go to his previous office (Oracle in Bengaluru) Mother says last saw Tarun Jinaraj on August 15, does not know where he is
to get some money,” Chacko – based at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh – said, adding that she has not seen him since that day.
Chacko said she “doesn’t know” where Jinaraj is now and neither has he contacted her. “He doesn’t have a phone. To get a cellphone connection, he needs documents, which are in the court’s custody.”
On September 28, Inspector M M Solanki of Sarkhej police station had told The Indian Express that the police have initiated surveillance to track Jinaraj and has had “no leads on the whereabouts of Tarun or his mother”.
Jinaraj is accused of strangling his wife Sajni just after three months of marriage at their home in Ahmedabad’s Bopal, then under Sarkhej police station. He was arrested in 2018 from Bengaluru after absconding for 15 years. While Jinaraj used to work as a basketball coach in a private school in in Ahmedabad, Sajni worked in a private bank.
Jinaraj, who fled Ahmedabad a couple of days after the alleged murder on February 14, 2003, was arrested and brought to the city on October 25, 2018 – 15 years later.
Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch, which probed the case, had found that he assumed the identity of his friend ‘Pravin Bhateley’ and had been living in Bengaluru with his other wife and their two sons. He faces a case of cheating in Bhopal, where the real Pravin Bhateley is based.
Jinaraj was granted temporary bail for two weeks by the HC on July 20. He was released from jail on August 4 and was slated to return to the jail on August 19.
Chacko, along with her elder son Arun and daughter-in-law, also stand accused under provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, and are facing trial simultaneously with Jinaraj before a district court in Ahmedabad.
The Ahmedabad district court on April 6, this year, had rejected Jinaraj’s plea seeking interim bail for 20 days. According to court records, he had cited that he needed to make several financial arrangements, including arranging for his lawyers’ fees in Ahmedabad and Bhopal, as well as to make his mother “debt-free” after she was cheated of Rs 24 lakh by a person named Govil Shah.
While according to Jinaraj, his mother had borrowed around Rs 8-10 lakh to pay Shah, Chacko said Shah had sought the money with a promise of arranging a lawyer, which he allegedly, subsequently, did not.
Jinaraj had told the court that if released on bail temporarily, he would be “able to manage the required funds that is left to be paid to the lenders and get his ageing mother debt-free”. He would also withdraw money from his provident fund account with Oracle India Private Limited, which would be around Rs 17-18 lakh, he had said.
A rural district and sessions court in Ahmedabad, on September 18, had also issued an arrest warrant against Jinaraj. The court is scheduled to take up the matter next on Saturday (September 30).
Chacko, who used to work at the government district civil hospital at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh as an administrator and nurse, had retired 14 years ago. She said she now visits Ahmedabad before court hearings, staying put at a rented room near the court premises, adding that the rest of the time she is at her native place in Mandsaur.
Chacko claimed that she was notified of news reports of her being “missing from an old age home” by her lawyer, after Jinaraj absconded a second time, following which she was instructed to gather records of her presence, in case the court asked for the same. “I have records with me, and I never moved without the knowledge of my lawyer,” she added.
Chacko said that months after Jinaraj’s arrest in October 2018, she took up residence at the ‘Jeevan Sandhya Home for the Aged’ at Mirzapur, and lived there for two years, before she was asked to leave “due to Covid-19”. “Initially the home barely had any residents and I was accommodated. During the pandemic, I would have to see my son and lawyers and I would move around… they wouldn’t allow me to stay because it was an inconvenience for other inmates,” she added.
An administrator at the old age home, however, claimed that Chacko was asked to leave by December 2019 after the administrators realised that her son was “in jail” and the home did not want “any trouble for ourselves”.
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