After three days of interrogation, Apoorva Shukla Tiwari, the wife of Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, was arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch on Wednesday for hatching a conspiracy to murder him. Police sources said that Apoorva herself smothered Rohit to death when he was inebriated. She didn't take anybody's help to commit the crime. Rohit was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his New Delhi residence in the evening of April 16.
The family's domestic help, Bhola, Rohit's cousin Pappu and Apoorva were in the house when Rohit was found dead. His mother Ujjwala Tiwari, who was admitted to Max hospital, received a call from her house about her son being "unwell and bleeding from the nose". Bhola said that Rohit often slept late into the day and there was nothing uncommon about that.
The family returned from Dehradun on April 15 after casting their vote. Rohit and Apoorva were in one car, while Ujjwala travelled in another car. The family went to their rooms around 11.30 pm. However, Rohit’s phone call details showed that he had made calls to his journalist friend and his sister-in-law Kumkum between 2 am to 4:14 am on the morning of April 16. But none received his call. According to the post-mortem examination report, he died an ‘unnatural death’ due to “asphyxia” as he was strangulated and smothered to death.
Apoorva, who was taken into the police custody on Sunday for questioning, made contradicting statements during the interrogation. The Crime Branch officials questioned Apoorva for over eight hours, the sources said. Besides Apoorva, the Delhi Police Crime Branch on Sunday took Rohit's two househelps -- Martha and Golu -- into its custody in the murder case of former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand ND Tiwari’s son.
Ujjwala said Shekhar, 40, and his wife did not share a cordial relationship and "they had issues since day one of their marriage".
On Sunday, Ujjwala hit out at Apoorva and her parents alleging they had their eyes on his property. "Apoorva's family wanted to take control of the properties of my both sons -- Siddharth and Rohit -- because this house is nearer to the Supreme Court where Apoorva was practising law," she said.
Refuting rumours that Rohit and Apoorva met in the Supreme Court complex, Ujjwala said they both had met in Lucknow through a matrimonial website in 2017.
They were seeing each other for a year and later took a break in between. Rohit Shekhar maintained distance from her and said he did not want to marry her, she said. They were not in touch from January to March, 2018. But on April 2 they came to me and expressed their wish to get married, Ujjwala said.
They also discussed mutual divorce several times and later decided to end their marriage in June, she added. Ujjwala said Apoorva was also against giving a share of property to son of Rajiv Kumar, a relative and aide of Tiwari.
Apoorva always had issues with Rajiv and his wife, Ujjwala said, adding that reports of Rohit having affair with Rajiv's wife is "baseless and false".
"My elder son Siddharth expressed his wish to give a share to Rajiv's son Kartik Raj but Apoorva was disappointed and expressed her displeasure over this," she said.
Shekhar's father-in-law said, "My daughter cannot do something like this. When I got to know about his death, I came down here. Police are probing the matter and soon we will know how he died."
A forensic team that visited Shekhar's residence collected two pillows and a blood-stained bedsheet and also seized mobile phones. Among the seven CCTV cameras installed in the premises, two were not functioning, sources said.
(With PTI inputs)