Apoorva Tiwari, wife of Rohit Shekhar Tiwari who was found dead in his residence in New Delhi on April 16, could be arrested soon as the Delhi Police Crime Branch suspects her role in the murder case, police sources said. They added that Apoorva, who was taken into the police custody on Sunday for questioning, made contradicting statements during the interrogation. According to the sources, she could be arrested late on Sunday night or Monday morning.
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.
The sources said the househelps could be released later, but Apoorva is yet to be arrested since a witness was not present at the police station. The reason behind the murder could be related to their troubled relationship, they added.
She was questioned about her entry in their Defence Colony residence, her schedule -- what she did during the day and why she did not find it odd when Shekhar was sleeping throughout the day, they said.
Shekhar's brother Siddharth were also questioned since they, too, were present at his residence at the time of his death, the sources said. The Delhi Police had on Thursday registered a case of murder into the death of Shekhar, 40, hours after his autopsy report stated that he died of asphyxia due to strangulation.
Shekhar, son of late Uttarakhand chief minister ND Tiwari, was brought to Max Hospital in south Delhi around 5 pm on Tuesday in an ambulance and doctors declared him dead.
The case has been transferred to the crime branch for investigation. Shekhar's cousin Rajeev and his wife Kumkum are also being questioned in connection with the case.
The police sources said at least five-six calls were made from Rohit's phone to Kumkum from 2 am to 4 am on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. They said police is trying to ascertain the reason why did Shekhar contact her at the odd hours.
Neighbours claimed that the couple often had fights and just last month a PCR call was made by one of them. "They had a fight last month. A PCR call was also made in this regard. The local police had come to the residence of Shekhar. We could hear noises and we were out to check," said a neighbour requesting anonymity.
Shekhar's mother Ujjwala too reached the Defence Colony residence to join the investigation and left a couple of hours later. The Defence Colony residence is registered in Ujjwala's name.
"My son was under some stress but I don't want to talk about it. By the time I reached home, Apoorva had made him lie down in someone's car. When I saw his condition, I had little hope left about his survival," she said.
"I trusted Apoorva and did not question her as to why was Shekhar sleeping till so late," she said.
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)