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ND Tiwari's Son Rohit Was Smothered To Death; Police Arrest Wife Apoorva Shukla For Murder

Former UP chief minister ND Tiwari's son Rohit Shekhar was apparently smothered with a pillow by his wife Apoorva Shukla. They did not have a cordial relationship.

ND Tiwari's Son Rohit Was Smothered To Death; Police Arrest Wife Apoorva Shukla For Murder
Rohit Shekhar's wife Apoorva was sent to two-day police custody by the Saket Court
ND Tiwari's Son Rohit Was Smothered To Death; Police Arrest Wife Apoorva Shukla For Murder

Apoorva Shukla, the  wife of Rohit Shekhar, former UP Chief Minister ND Tiwari's son, has been arrested  for his alleged murder. She had smothered him to death with a pillow while he was in a drunken state, police said. 

Delhi Police said a  "turbulent and unhappy" marriage was the motive for the crime.

Rohit Shekhar was smothered to death on the intervening night of April 15 and 16, an autopsy report said.

"On the night of the incident, the couple had a fight over a relative. Rohit had been drinking all the way from Uttarakhand to Delhi and was not in a condition to resist. During the fight she pounced on him and smothered him," Rajeev Ranjan, additional commissioner (Crime), told reporters.

Apoorva was arrested on  Wednesday from her Defence Colony residence in South Delhi, an officer said.

"She has confessed. As of now, from the fact and circumstances, it seems the killing was not planned. The background was there that they had a turbulent marriage and Rohit Shekhar and his family were thinking of separation," Ranjan said.

 Additional Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan told IANS, "We have arrested Apoorva with the help of scientific evidence and FSL report. She entered Rohit's room on April 16 and executed the crime. She later destroyed the evidences. All this happened within one-and-half hours," said the officer, adding that she initially tried to mislead the Crime Branch team.

"She committed the crime herself without any help. She will be produced in the court soon," officials of Delhi Police Crime Branch said.


Apoorva, a lawyer practising in the Supreme Court, was being questioned in connection with the killing since last Sunday.

Discrepancies were found in her statements which led police to suspect her involvement.

Rohit's mother Ujjwala on Sunday had alleged that 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.

A case of murder (Section 302 of Indian Penal Code) was registered after the post mortem examination report revealed that Rohit died an "unnatural death" due to "strangulation and smothering."

The  Crime Branch team probing the murder relied on the forensic lab report to establish the role of three suspects, Apoorva,  the driver Akhilesh, and servant Golu.

Apoorva was seen in a CCTV footage going to the first floor of the Defence Colony house where the deceased stayed.

 A Crime Branch officer said that Shekhar's murder took place possibly following some sudden provocation. 

On Tuesday, the Crime Branch had 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 kiiling, 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 was 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  adjoined the bedroom of Shekhar, and Akhilesh also lived in another room located on the same floor.

Domestic help Golu, his wife and three children lived in the 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 post-mortem examination report clearly suggested that Shekhar died around 1 a.m and therefore, the needle of suspicion moved straight towards Apoorva, who was the last person to go to the first floor.

The Crime Branch had prepared CDs of all seven CCTV footages to observe the routine activities of Apoorva, Akhilesh and Golu.

Shekhar was found dead on April 16 under mysterious circumstances. He was brought to the Max Hospital in Saket at around 5 p.m. on Tuesday in an ambulance where doctors declared him brought dead.

"When the statements of the suspects were recorded, Apoorva and Akhilesh failed to give satisfactory answers to certain questions. They are our prime suspects as they could have hatched the entire conspiracy," a police officer said.

"When the incident happened on April 16, only Apoorva and Akhilesh were present on the first floor. The evidences indicate that Shekhar was murdered for property," the officer added.

Shekhar and his wife Apoorva had  strained relations ever since their marriage in 2017. The two had met through a matrimonial site.

"The situation turned so bad that Shekhar and Apoorva were living separately in the same house," the police officer said.

Ujjwala Sharma, Shekhar's mother, said: "Apoorva had an affair with someone before getting married to Shekhar. Her family is money-minded and has always had an eye on our property. They wanted to grab the Defence Colony property from my sons Shekhar and Sidharth. Our house is close to the Supreme Court where Apoorva went for practice.

"I would disclose everything after the condolence meeting. Rajeev, who is our relative and had been the OSD to my husband N.D. Tiwari, has been in our service for the last 40 years. Apoorva used to hate Rajeev's wife because Sidharth wanted to give a share of his property to Rajeev's son."

"We scanned 35 phone numbers, including that of Shekhar, Apoorva and her family members, Ujjwala, Sidharth, his wife, another family member Rajiv and domestic helps Golu and Akhilesh. It appears that no external person was involved in the case.

"As per the autopsy report, Shekhar was killed between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on April 16, but his mobile phone was used after that," the officer said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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