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A 48-hour chase led cops to accused in Delhi’s Dabri murder case | Latest News Delhi

At 3 pm on April 3, Mohammad Mustakeen’s phone began to ring. His daughter’s name, Rukhsar Rajput, flashed across the screen. Her voice was shaken, her words troubling. She told him she was upset; that if something were to happen to her, he should take care of himself. He tried to calm her down, but was left deeply worried. Two hours later, he called her again. This time, her phone was switched off altogether.

Delhi police

Read here: Murder in Delhi: Plumber slits woman’s throat in busy Dabri market

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Mustakeen knew where Rajput lived in Dwarka’s Dabri with her partner and left for Delhi with a set of relatives, a sense of dread hanging over the family. By 10:30 pm, they were outside the door. It was locked from the outside, but Mustakin knew where a spare set of keys were kept hidden, in a wooden box near the door. They entered, and lying there in front of them, stuffed in an open wooden cupboard in one of the rooms, was the lifeless body of Rukhsar Rajput.

At 10:38 pm on that Wednesday, the Delhi police control room was called. What followed was a 48-hour hunt across four states for the 27-year-old Vipul Tailor; the man that Rukhsar had been in a relationship with for over four years and lived with; the man with a rap sheet that had gone missing. It was a chase that had everything — special teams that scanned CCTV footage across Dwarka and national highways and travelled to Surat where the couple had first met; a suspect with criminal history determined to evade arrest, attempting to throw the police off the trail, and an accident on the Delhi-Mumbai expressway that threw a spanner in the works and led to his arrest.


Immediate enquiries into Tailor’s antecedents by the Delhi police revealed that over the past eight years, he had 10 criminal cases registered against him. Tailor’s father is a property dealer and local financier based in Surat, and the first case registered against him was in 2016, when an extortion case was registered against the both of them for allegedly pressuring a man to return money. Tailor was arrested but bailed out soon after, and in 2017 travelled to Sydney to pursue a diploma in hardware, but dropped out and returned to India in 2018.

By June 2020, Tailor had an arms act case registered against him, after a man arrested for the illegal possession of arms in Gujarat told the police that Tailor was the supplier. Faced with imminent arrest, Tailor fled to Delhi, and allegedly began to deal drugs, and in November 2020 was arrested under the NDPS act.

In Tihar jail, Tailor found himself in more trouble, accused of an attack on an inmate with members of the Jitender Gogi gang in 2022. “A case of attempt to murder was filed at the Hari Nagar police station,” the officer said. In 2023, Tailor was given parole, but never returned.

Armed with this information, deputy commissioner of police(Dwarka) Ankit Singh said that five teams were formed to track down the accused.

A senior police officer part of the investigating team said that their first break in the case was the discovery of CCTV footage in Dabri that showed Tailor leaving the vicinity of the home at 9:30 pm in his Maruti Ciaz vehicle. “We had his registration number so we started tracking his route,” the officer said.

Investigators next spotted Tailor’s vehicle arriving in Haryana’s Sohna, the entry point of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway. Their immediate guess that was he was trying to make his way to Gujarat, where he is from. “We sent one team directly to Gujarat and started making enquiries there. There were two routes that he could have taken, one via Udaipur and another via Kota in Rajasthan. The two teams then started tracking the two routes,” the officer said.

It became clear to the police that Tailor was determined not to get caught. Their principal weapon of investigation was CCTV cameras installed at every toll plaza. “But one would presume that he wouldn’t stop driving and check in at the next toll plaza in a short while. But to throw us off, he would park the car immediately after crossing each toll booth and wait for a while. At least on one occasion, investigators said, Tailor paused for two hours, taking a nap on the side of the road.

At 2:30 am on April 5 however, as he crossed Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, Tailor crashed into a pole, totaling his vehicle. He had suffered injuries to his head, but while they were not life threatening, they left him prone for a while. A highway patrolling car spotted the damaged vehicle, and while they did not know at the time that Tailor was in it, called an ambulance which was meant to take him to the nearest hospital. “As his injuries were not serious, they didn’t accompany him to the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Bhopal Ganj’s Bhilwara,” one officer said.

He was awake and conscious, and Tailor’s hackles were up. He knew that there would be documentation at the Bhilwara hospital the moment he arrived, and was eager to get to Surat where he could ostensibly control the situation. He sold the ambulance driver a story that he couldn’t afford the treatment at the hospital, and asked him to help him hire another ambulance for Surat. “He used the driver’s mobile phone to call a family member and told them to transfer money to this driver. This also helped convince this first ambulance driver that he did indeed not have the money,” the officer said.

But unfortunately for Tailor, he had less time than he thought. For separately, as the Delhi Police hunted for his Maruti Ciaz, they spotted the accident-struck vehicle on a CCTV camera on the highway. “They got in touch with the Bhilwara police, which then sought details from the highway patrolling vehicle. They then spoke to the first ambulance driver, who in turn shared details of the second ambulance driver. This vehicle was then stopped in Udaipur near the Rajasthan-Gujarat border on Friday afternoon,” one official said. On Friday, Tailor was produced before a court in Rajasthan, after which Delhi police teams brought him to the Capital late in the night. He was produced before the Dwarka court on Saturday, and sent to three-day police custody. He was again produced before the same court on Tuesday and sent to judicial custody.


Police investigations have revealed that Tailor met Rajput in 2020 in Surat at a spa centre which she used to run. Rajput was married once before in 2017 and had a daughter, but had divorced in 2019. Her daughter lived with her parents in Meerut.

In the weeks after they met, Tailor and Rajput began a relationship and eventually began living together. But two months ago, in February, the couple decided to move to Delhi because apart from the cases registered against Tailor, three cases were registered against Rajput under sections of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act for allegedly running a prostitution racket in the spa centre.

Read here: 25-year-old shot dead over parking dispute in southwest Delhi’s Dabri

But there was trouble brewing in the relationship. “She had bought a house in Meerut using money he had given her. Then in February, he gave her 7 lakh and they bought the house in Dabri. The total loan for the home was 35 lakh for which she had to give installments, but he said he had no more money to give her. She wanted to get married but he wasn’t keen. The fights between them grew and grew,” the officer said.

On April 2, the domestic squabbles between them grew so fierce that the police was called in, but no case was registered. The next day, Tailor planned to kill her. Police officers said that when Tailor attempted to strangulate Rajput, she resisted. “There were 15 injury marks all over her body, including deep wounds on her face—which makes us suspect there was a physical fight before the murder. She was eventually strangled to death,” an officer said.

Two days later, after a breathless chase, Tailor had another case — this time murder — added to his rap-sheet.

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