Padma overpowered Pooja and hit her head on the ground several times and smothered her. (Representational photo)
A 32-year-old man and his 33-year-old childhood sweetheart were arrested for allegedly killing the former’s wife and trying to project it as a suicide in southwest Delhi’s Kishangarh, the police said. The accused, Rahul Kumar Mishra is a mechanical engineer and Padma Tiwari, who works at an MNC in Gurugran, were arrested on Wednesday, they said. On March 16, the Kishangarh police station was informed by Fortis Hospital that one Pooja Rai was brought to the hospital by her husband and she was declared dead there, police said.
Since Pooja died within seven years of marriage, the Mehrauli executive magistrate was informed an enquiry was initiated. Her autopsy was conducted at the Safdurjung Hospital and the reports showed that her death was homicidal. Pooja was found to be strangulated and had injury marks on her occipital bone. Her father’s statement was recorded and a probe initiated to ascertain the cause of death. Her husband, other family members and his friend Padma, who was said to have visited Rai on the day of her death, were kept on technical surveillance, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) Devender Arya said.
On Wednesday, the accused were interrogated and confronted with the discrepancies in their statements. During inquiry, it was revealed that the childhood lovers had hatched the conspiracy to eliminate Pooja in order to re-unite, he added. The accused told the police that they were schoolmates in Padma and Rahul had studied together in Jharkhand’s Sindri Dhanbad and were in a relationship but eventually lost touch.
They reunited in 2015 and wanted to get married, however, their parents opposed the relationship citing different castes. Rahul’s marriage was fixed to Pooja, who also belonged to Sindri, Jharkhand, in January 2017. Rahul told Pooja about their relationship with the hope that she would refuse to get married to him but she didn’t and they got married in April that year.
Meanwhile, Rahul and Padma continued their relationship. Eight months ago, Rahul asked Pooja to take Padma’s help in securing a job. Pooja allegedly taunted Padma over her relationship with Rahul. They then hatched a plan to kill Pooja, the officer said.
On the day of the killing, Padma went to meet Pooja at her house in Kishangarh as per plan. They had breakfast together, but Padma had to wait to execute the plan as the domestic help was still present there, he said.
Later, Padma overpowered Pooja and hit her head on the ground several times and smothered her. Then, she kept a letter close to the body to mislead the police. In the evening, she told Rahul on phone that she had murdered Pooja, the police said.
In the four-page fake suicide note, Padma mentioned that a man had committed suicide because of Pooja, which is why she was committing suicide. "The fake suicide note written by Padma spoke about how Pooja had 'cheated' a man, which led to him committing suicide. The note mentioned how this has affected her badly and prompted her to take the extreme step,” the police said. The accused wanted to make it seem like Pooja had committed suicide out of guilt and wanted to defame her.