- Rohit Shekhar was allegedly smothered to death on April 16
- Discrepancies were found in the wife’s statements which led police to suspect her involvement
- Rohit Shekhar Tiwari had to win a paternity suit to be recognized as ND Tiwari’s son
New Delhi: The Delhi Police Wednesday arrested Rohit Shekhar Tiwari's wife Apoorva for allegedly killing him last week, said a senior police officer.
The officer said the couple apparently did not have a happy marriage and had frequent fights.
Rohit Shekhar was allegedly smothered to death on April 16.
Apoorva was being questioned from Sunday last in connection with the killing. Discrepancies were found in her statements which led police to suspect her involvement.
Rohit's mother Ujjwala on Sunday had alleged that her daughter-in-law Apoorva and her family were money-minded and wanted to acquire the family property. She had earlier said the couple had started having fights right from the first day of marriage.
Born out of wedlock, Rohit Shekhar Tiwari had to win a paternity suit against late Congress leader and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Narayan Dutt Tiwari to be recognized as the latter’s son.
Rohit Tiwari joined the BJP ahead of the 2017 Uttarakhand assembly polls and had recently indicated he could join the Congress.
The Crime Branch team probing the mysterious murder is awaiting FSL report to establish the role of three suspects, including his wife, who were seen in a CCTV footage going to the first floor of house where the deceased stayed, an officer said on Tuesday.
Shekhar's wife Apoorva, servant Golu and driver Akhilesh are the main suspects in the case.
The Crime Branch officer said that Shekhar's murder took place possibly following some sudden provocation. "We have identified the suspects but are waiting for forensic science laboratory (FSL) report to prove it with scientific and concrete evidences."
He said: "We are investigating the case with all possible angles. It could be a sudden provocation after Shekhar saw something objectionable happening in his house, and Apoorva and Akhilesh smothered and strangulated him."
The other reason could be a verbal fight between Apoorva and Shekhar - which they indulged in very often - taking an ugly turn on April 16, leading to his killing, he added.
"As per medical reports, Shekhar was regularly taking sleeping pills. Besides, he was also drunk that night which could be the reason for his failure to resist the killers."
The third suspect is Golu, who was the first visitor to the bedroom of Shekhar and raised alarm on finding him lying dead on the bed.
"There were six persons present in the two-storey house (No-329) located in C-Block of upscale Defence Colony where Shekhar was found dead under mysterious circumstances on the first floor of his house."
The room of Apoorva is adjoining the bedroom of Shekhar, and Akhilesh also lived in another room located on the same floor.
Besides them, domestic help Golu, his wife and three children lived in servant's quarters on the second floor.
Shekhar's elder brother, Siddharth, used to stay on the ground floor and another female domestic help in the back side of the house, the officer said.
The Crime Branch is preparing CDs of all seven CCTV footages to observe routine activities of Apporva, Akhilesh and Golu.
Apoorva is a Supreme Court lawyer and said to be eyeing this property in the upscale colony - another possible reason leading to the killing of Shekhar, the officer added.
Death by asphyxiation
The post-mortem examination report clearly suggested that Shekhar died around 1 a.m and therefore, the needle of suspicion moves straight towards Apoorva, who would be the last person to go to the first floor.
He died of "asphyxia" as he was strangulated and smothered, said the autopsy report.
The autopsy was conducted by a medical board comprising five senior doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
"The medical board unanimously concluded that the cause of death in this case is asphyxia as a result of strangulation and smothering. It is a sudden unnatural death, placed in the category of homicide," the head of the AIIMS' forensic department, Dr Sudhir Gupta, said.
Rohit Tiwari died on Tuesday. He was brought dead to the Max Hospital in Saket in south Delhi.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vijay Kumar had said that Rohit Tiwari, a resident of Defence Colony in south Delhi, was brought to the hospital around 5pm in an ambulance and doctors declared him dead.
His mother Ujjwala Tiwari, who was admitted at Max hospital, received a call from her house about her son being "unwell and bleeding from the nose", he said.
"Max hospital received an emergency call from the residence of Rohit Shekhar Tiwari at 4:41 pm this (Teusday) afternoon. An ambulance brought Tiwari to Max Hospital, Saket, where he was declared brought dead at the emergency department," the hospital had said in a statement.
Rohit Shekhar’s father Narayan Dutt Tiwari died at the age of 93 on October 18, his birthday, last year. He, too, was undergoing treatment for age-related complications at the Saket hospital.
The Congress veteran, who had served in various positions at the Centre, was the chief of minister of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.