An army colonel’s mother was bludgeoned to death at her house in Ambala Cantt’s Ajit Nagar Colony.

Her body, with hands and legs tied together and chilli powder smeared on her face, was found lying in a pool of blood on Thursday night.

Victim Usha Singhal, 73, had been staying alone in the four-bedroom house, which is just 100 metre from a police station. The house had also been ransacked.

Police suspect the crime to have been committed with the intention to loot. The victim appeared to have been strangulated and hit by a blunt object. Police are awaiting the postmortem and forensic reports before registering a case.

The victim’s son, Colonel Sandeep Singhal, is posted at Suratgarh in Rajasthan. He had last visited her on Monday.

A neighbouring family had been staying with her till Tuesday as their house was being renovated. When their contractor visited the woman’s house to keep some cement bags on Thursday, no one responded.

When he told the neighbours about this, they visited the house and upon opening the door found the woman lying on the bed in a pool of blood.

Cops, including deputy superintendent of police Suresh Kaushik, and forensic experts reached the spot and started investigations.

Colonel Singhal, who reached Ambala on Friday morning, said he had asked his mother to accompany him, but she insisted to stay here.

Family members said Usha wanted to rent out a portion of the house before moving to Suratgarh as she did not want to keep it locked.

“If she had accompanied me, the tragedy would have been averted,” said the colonel.

The victim’s husband, who worked for BSNL, had died 25 years ago. Her two daughters are married and live in Panchkula and Dehradun.

The body was handed over to the family after the postmortem.

DSP Kaushik said a team has been constituted to investigate the crime. He said the perpetrators will be nabbed soon.

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