Valentine's Day murder: Jinaraj stole identity of friend who sheltered him

AHMEDABAD: After successfully evading police for at least 15 years, an accused gets trapped in his own game of changed identities. Tarun Jinaraj, now 42, who allegedly murdered his wife Sajni Nair (23) on Valentine’s Day in 2003, was in November 2011 accused of cheating in an FIR filed by his friend, Pravin Bhateley, who alleged that Jinaraj had adopted his identity to evade arrest.
An official investigating the case said that Bhateley, a physical training instructor in Bhopal, had filed a complaint of cheating, forgery and creating forged documents against Jinaraj at TT Nagar police station inBhopalin November 2018. In his statement before the police, Bhateley said that he was neither aware of Jinaraj’s offence nor his intention behind using the stolen identity.
Jinaraj allegedly murdered his wife at their home in Bopal. After strangling her, he cooked up a story about robbers breaking into their house and killing Sajni while stealing valuables. Jinaraj fled to Bhopal in April 2003, two months after the murder and started teaching English at Bhateley’s office in Bhopal and also started using Bhateley’s identity as his own.
Bhateley was Jinaraj’s senior at their BPEd college, and so Jinaraj found it conducive to hide at his place. He approached Bhateley saying he was in dire need of a job.
Bhateley then asked him to teach English at his tuition class in Bhopal. Once employed, Jinaraj got access to Bhateley’s documents and he scanned and emailed them to himself. Later, he escaped to Pune before settling down in Bangalore where he began working with an IT firm, until his arrest in October 2018 by Ahmedabad police.