Case Studies
Tandoor Murder Case: Cop Paid Price for Performing his Duty

Tandoor Murder Case: Cop Paid Price for Performing his Duty

The tandoor murder case was the most horrendous and foul crime that took place in Delhi, India. Congress Youth leader Sushil Sharma was the murderer and thus, it was hard to make him a convict due to his political power.

Sushil Sharma killed his wife based on suspicion of an extra-marital affair with Maltoob Karim. After the murder, he took her body to a restaurant of his friend in Cannaught place and tied to dump the body in a Tandoor. And so the case is named as famous 1995 Tandoor murder case.

How the police came to know about Tandoor murder case?

On the night of Tandoor murder case incident, when the body was being burnt, its flames caught the eyes of locals and thus they informed the police. The patrolling officer, Abdul Nazir Kunju along with the constable was present in the area and went to check about the whereabouts of the fire.

Sushil and his friend Keshav told the patrolling policemen that they were burning posters. Abdul Nazir Kunju wasn’t convinced with the response and decided to take a look. As soon as he got the look on the Tandoor, he saw some human limbs in and outside the Tandoor.

Tandoor murder case

Seeing this, Abdul Nazi Kunju immediately called the police control room to inform his seniors about the incident in the restaurant. Sushil and Keshav tried to threaten Kunju but the arrival of police dejected them. The police caught Keshav but Sushil ran away and arrested a few days later in Bengaluru.

The police on arrival saw the half-burnt body of Naina Sahni which was unrecognizable at that moment and later identified by Maltoob Karim.

Its been 25 years since the Tandoor murder case and 2 years since the release of Sushil Sharma from Jail. He was convicted and imprisoned for 23 years but due to his good behavior, he was released in 2018.

Aftermath of the incident

Since the alertness of the police constable, Abdul Nazir Kunju made this case public and provide justice to the victim. He was considered a hero and was on the front page of newspapers for several days.

Since then, his life has been a mess as he took a voluntary retirement soon after due to the behavior of police towards him.

When Sushil Sharma was released in 2018, Abdul Nazir Kunju gave an interview to news channels from Kerala where he is currently situated. He recalls the incident as nine days wonder.

He stated that he has rewarded 5 Rs for his brave act and was kept away from many extra benefits. He was never appreciated enough by the Delhi police. Although he was given a promotion, his salary was way less than the constables who joined after him.

Abdul Nazir Kunju

Sixth pay commission was not provided to him. He informed his seniors and administration was turned down. In 2012, he took a voluntary retirement out of frustration to take care of his ailing mother.

Even after he was retired, he consistently used to go to trials of Sushil Sharma as a witness whenever asked to be present. Due to his presence as a witness against a political leader it was always going to be tough for him.

In a book by the then Joint Commissioner of Police, Maxwell Pereira, who investigated the case personally said that Kinju was given some death threats as well as a bribe of Rs. 10 Lakh for changing his statement. Abdul Nazir Kunju stood his position to bring the victim to Justice.

Final Words

In India, Police are not given enough appreciation either by the police themselves and mostly by the residents. There are reasons for that yet we should always appreciate them for doing their work as everyone is not the same and they are also human beings.

Justice to Naina Sahni wouldn’t have been possible without Abdul Nazir Kunju’s alertness and bravery as a policeman and as a witness in the court. It is because of policemen like Abdul who follow the tracks of the crime closely that the convicts like Sushil Sharma spent 23 years in jail.

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