KEY POINTS

  • Akhtar had cut off his son from his will due to his criminal background 
  • Police found his bullet-ridden body inside a jungle he created for the elephants
  • The property will now go to the NGO Akhtar founded for the elephants

A 55-year-old man, who willed his property worth about $600K to his two pet elephants, was found dead from a gunshot in his farm. Police believe his son, who had a dispute with his father over the property, was behind the murder.

Mohammad Akhtar Imam, hailing from the Indian state of Bihar, hogged the limelight in 2020 after he bequeathed his property worth $672.50 at that time to his pet jumbos Moti and Rani, reported The Times Of India.

Police found Akhtar's bullet-ridden body in a pool of blood Wednesday inside a small jungle he had created for his elephants near his home. He was shot at least eight times in his neck, chest and abdomen. Officers also recovered five bullet casings near the body.

Reports said Akhtar had recently moved his elephants to Jim Corbett National Park in the state of Uttarakhand after he sensed a threat to his life. He had visited the elephants a day before he was killed. 

Senior police official Maneesh Kumar Sinha told The Times Of India that it is likely that Akhtar was killed over a land dispute. He added that officers got information that four to five people had visited him just before his body was discovered. 

“His son is the prime suspect. Some land mafias also wanted to capture Akhtar’s properties. Akhtar also had a land dispute with a relative of his," Sinha added. The officer said his son Mohammad Meraj, a convicted criminal, had made a previous attempt on his father's life. Meraj is now in prison for his involvement in another criminal case, reported Hindustan Times. 

Meraj reportedly had a woman register a fake rape case against Akhtar. He also resented the fact that Akhtar adopted a man named Chandan, who is from his village. 

"As per Akhtar’s will, his NGO, Asian Elephant Rehabilitation and Wildlife Animal Trust (AERAWAT), will own the properties transferred to the elephants for their care if something happens to him. In case the two elephants also die, the entire property would go to the state government, as per the will," Sinha said. 

Last year, Akhtar told reporters that he shared a portion of his property with his sisters, children and ex-wife. He had then mentioned that he had cut off his eldest son Meraj because of his criminal background.

body Representation. Photo: Pixabay