Twenty-years, onemonth and two days — that is the time convict number 31 spent behind bars in Tihar’s jail number 2.
Convicted for the murder of his wife in the infamous Delhi tandoor case, Sushil Sharma is out on parole after 20 years. He has served the longest sentence for life imprisonment in Tihar without a parole.
Sharma recently visited a hospital in south Delhi to attend to his aunt, a coma patient.
In a short interview, he spoke about what exactly happened on the night of July 2, 1995 - the day he reportedly shot his wife Naina Sahni in a fit of rage.
Initially reluctant to speak, Sharma now 54 years old said, “That one day is a blur in my life. Till today, I do not know what happened. It happened in a fraction of a second and that one second has cost me 20 years.”
Sharma who was then Youth Congress president shot his wife Naina Sahni as he objected to her relationship with a male friend.
On that night, Sharma had returned home and found his wife talking to a male friend on phone. He suspected her of having an affair. Naina on seeing Sharma reportedly hung up but when Sharma dialled the phone again and heard the male friend on the other end, he shot Sahni with his licensed pistol.
“There are times I look back on that day. I try hard but I cannot piece together the sequence of events. All the memories have melted in the 20 years of sweat in prison. My parents have also suffered in the last 20 years and there is no one to look after them,” he said.
Post his release, Sharma has been busy taking his old parents, aged 80 and 79 to the hospital for treatment.
Hours after he was released on Friday night, Sharma first took his mother to a temple near north-west Delhi.
Sharma’s cousin Vaibhav who was with him at the hospital said that inside jail, Sharma had been working as computer teacher to fellow inmates.
“His behaviour according to jail authorities has always been good. This has been noted by the Supreme Court too. He was never a criminal and did not have a single complaint or case against him. Normally prisoners with good conduct are released after 14 years but in his case, he is the only prisoner to have served 20 years,” said Vaibhav.
While there are media reports that Sharma had chopped his wife, the Supreme Court order reads ‘…medical evidence does not establish that the body was cut. There is also no recovery of any weapon like a chopper which could suggest that Sharma had cut the body… Murder was the outcome of a strained personal relationship.’