A Bollywood photographer who took photographs of up-and-coming models was found bound, gagged and strangled to death on Friday.
Navraj Kawatra, 65, was killed at approximately 12.30pm Friday when two assailants went to his Mumbai apartment with a gift-wrapped box that looked like a present.
A neighbor heard shouting coming from Kawatra’s apartment and saw the two men run out of the complex shortly after.
India Today reports that when the neighbor went to check on Kawatra after then men fled, Kawatra was found with his arms bound behind his back and with ligature marks clearly visible on his neck.
Police found obscene photos of would-be models, Viagra, sex toys and condoms at Kawatra’s apartment and NDTV reports that they suspect that he may have known his attackers.
The first possible explanation for the attack is that one of the models who posed for Kawatra was harassed or conned by him, and then she hired the two attackers as retribution.
‘It is also possible that some person might have killed him for revenge. We are also checking the phone records of Kwatra and trying to figure out what might have gone wrong,’ a senior police officer told the Times of India.
Aside from his off-color activities, Kawatra is known for being the son of Amrita Pritam, one of India’s best-known female writers and poets.
Police have spoken with Kawatra’s wife who lives in Delhi, and the couple’s two grown children, both of whom were out of the country at the time of the murder.
‘There are enough clues to suggest that Kawatra knew the killers. Preliminary investigations have revealed that professional rivalry or a deal gone wrong could have led to the murder,’ a senior police officer told the Ahmedabad Mirror.
Police had hoped to utilize the security footage from the flat, as it had CCTV cameras installed but the recording equipment was turned off at the time of the incident for some unknown reason.
NDTV reports that while the footage from Friday is not available, some older footage is being analyzed which shows a man dancing with a naked woman inside the apartment.
Security cameras were also installed inside the changing room and toilet of the studio apartment.