The sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Model Town in northwest Delhi bled to death in her car after she reportedly hit a vehicle in Sector 16 of Rohini in northwest Delhi.
Police said Neera Kharbanda (44) was driving under the influence of alcohol. Kharbanda was driving around in her car for two hours in a drunken state, police said.
According to the police, she was upset because a friend of hers was not taking her calls. She had reportedly called this friend 15 times on Wednesday.
Police are scanning her mobile phone records and questioning her friends to investigate whether there was any foul play in the case. Kharbanda's body was found in her Hyundai Accent car on a busy residential road of Rohini Sector 16 around 7.30 am on Thursday.
“It seems she was under the influence of alcohol, lost control of the car and hit a vehicle from behind. The steering punctured her intestine and she bled to death,” said Atul Katiyar, DCP (Outer).
Police said Kharbanda might have died around 4 am. Since the car had dark glasses, the body was not discovered till morning.
Kharbanda was living in Paschim Vihar with her mother and seven-year-old daughter. Four years ago, she was separated from her husband Vinod Talwar, a steel trader. She was promoted to the post of SDM three months ago.
Police said Kharbanda left her house around 7.30 pm Wednesday.
“She called up a family friend Lokesh Kumar who lives in Paschim Vihar at around 11 pm. She told him that she was depressed because a friend of hers was not taking her calls. Kumar asked him to come over to his place,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Police said around 2.30 am on Thursday, Kumar asked her to go home and he followed her car till the gate of her house. He then returned home.
“Kharbanda, however, did not go inside and drove around the area for two hours before she died,” said the officer.
The police official said it seemed she had consumed liquor at her friend’s house and also inside the car.
“We found a bottle and a packet of cigarettes. When she reached Sector 16, her car hit an unidentified vehicle. The car got entangled under the vehicle and was dragged to some distance. The driver left without helping her,” said the official.
Forensic experts examined the car on Thursday and are likely to furnish a report soon. Doctors who conducted the autopsy at Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital said her intestine was ruptured and blood came from her nose and mouth due to the collision and she bled to death.
The viscera has been preserved for further examination. A relative at Kharbanda’s house said her mother was operated upon recently. A case has been registered at Prashant Vihar police station.