Rohini murder: Victim’s family knew of extramarital affair, feared for daughter’s lifedelhi Updated: Oct 27, 2017 00:15 IST
The mother of Priya Mehra, 34, who was shot dead in a car in Rohini, on Thursday said she always feared that her restaurateur husband Pankaj would kill her and had asked her to seek divorce.
“Priya loved Pankaj even after she got to know about his extra marital affair. I had adviced her to seek divorce, but she hoped that Pankaj would return to her someday,” Priya’s mother Manju Menghani told Hindustan Times.
The victim’s father Ashok Menghani, however, said that he was not completely convinced by the police’s version.
Priya would rarely share her domestic problems with her father as she felt she was responsible for her fate after she fell in love and married Pankaj 11 years ago. But she couldn’t hide much from her mother.
While the couple fought frequently, the turbulence in their relationship began only last year.
“When Priya got to know of the other woman in Pankaj’s life, she called her up. This woman told my daughter that Pankaj had married her and they even had a child together. She later sent photos of them together,” Manju said.
Priya’s family knew very little about Pankaj’s lover, apart from the fact that she was in her early 20s and lived in Delhi. They knew that the woman had come to Delhi two years ago, was still studying and had also worked at a bar for sometime before taking up a clerical job.
“Though Pankaj confessed to having been in a relationship with the woman and even spending four days with her outside Delhi, he denied that he had married her or fathered a child. But whenever Priya questioned him, Pankaj would beat her up,” said Manju.
Police said they have identified the other woman and are likely to call her in for questioning and ask if she knew about the murder.
“My daughter was suffering with Pankaj, but she loved him. She would crave for his attention, but he barely spent any time at home. She had come to stay with us for around 10 months, when Pakaj was showering all his attention on the other woman,” said Manju, adding that the two had got back together around two months ago for the sake of their son.
Priya’s family alleged that Pankaj was a reckless father to their two-year-old son too. “The boy would keep following his father, but Pankaj would never take him in his arms,” Priya’s brother said.
Pankaj has told police during his interrogation that the couple doted on their son and often took him out on long drives because the child liked being in the car. It was during one such late night outing that his wife was gunned down.
After Pankaj’s arrest, Priya’s parents took custody of the two-year-old.
They also said that they were aware of their son-in-law’s financial troubles and that he was being “threatened” by a moneylender. They said Pankaj had borrowed money from them thrice – Rs 4 lakh on one occasion – but never returned anything.
Ashok said he trusted the police’s findings, but he found it hard to believe that Pankaj had killed his daughter. “He was cordial to us and Priya never told me that he beat her up,” said Ashok. He also said that Pankaj had rushed Priya to a hospital because he was desperate to save her life.
“The way Pankaj was shouting at the hospital management for not treating Priya made me believe he wanted to see her alive,” said Ashok.