Dubai: The gruesome murder of a Dubai restaurant owner in India last weekend has left his family and employees in shock.
Suresh Noojaje, 48, was reportedly beaten to death by burglars in his villa on the outskirts of Thane in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Friday night.
The incident happened when Suresh was alone and was discovered when a maid reached his villa on Saturday morning, his relative Harish Mepad told Gulf News on Tuesday.
He said Suresh and his wife Shweta were in India to prepare for a pilgrimage to Amarnath (a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir).
“They were supposed to join the annual the pilgrimage yesterday,” said Harish, who also looks after the business of Suresh when the latter is away from Dubai.
He said the couple also owned a flat back home. “They used to switch between the villa and the flat when they are in India. On Friday, Suresh went back to the villa to check on things there while Shweta stayed in the flat. It was on that night the burglars broke open the kitchen window and entered the house.”
He said Suresh, who was sleeping in his bedroom on the first floor, was tied up and beaten to death by the burglars. “There were no valuables in the house. They didn’t get anything other than the gold he wore — his ring, chain and bracelet. They threw his phone outside the villa.”
The police was called in after a maid found the house doors open on Saturday morning.
The family of Suresh was shattered to hear the news.
“His parents are aged and live in Mangalore. His elder paternal uncle, who is about 80 years, was shocked and died of a heart attack on Saturday. That has become a double tragedy for his family.”
He said a devastated Shewta is with her parents in Thane.
Thane Police has arrested a gang of seven who confessed to the crime, he added.
Meanwhile, the employees of the restaurant Swadist are yet to come to terms with the shocking news. Suresh had opened the popular vegetarian restaurant in Karama in 2004.
Jayendra Devdas Poojari, manager of the restaurant, said the restaurant was closed on Sunday to pay tributes to their “caring” owner.
The employees held a prayer meeting and offered condolences to his family.
Jayendra said most of the 18 staff members have been working with the eatery for more than 10 years. “That shows how he used to take care of the employees. He was a very jovial person who got along well with the staff members and the customers as well. He took good care of all of us,” said Jayesh.