In a bizarre case bearing a stark resemblance to the recovery of a newly-wed woman's body from southeast Delhi's Millennium Park last month, a 35-year-old mother of two was found murdered deep within the forested confines of a public park in south Delhi's Safdurjung Enclave on Thursday afternoon.
Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (south), said Nikita, a resident of Subhash Camp slum cluster located in the adjacent Dakshinpuri area, was murdered by her neighbour-turned-lover at the conclusion of a brief but heated midnight exchange at the Rose Garden near IIT Delhi.
"Mohammad Salim (33) and Nikita had managed to gain entry to the said park late on Wednesday night where they had a heated exchange before he strangulated her with her 'chunni' and slit her throat with a blade. Later, Salim surrendered at the local police station after consuming a pesticide," DCP Sharma said.
According to police, Nikita, mother to two children including a newborn son but separated from her husband, came in contact with Salim, who stayed near her Dakshinpuri residence, in early 2008.
The friendship soon blossomed into an affair that got cut short after Salim went to Dubai for 'work-related' reasons. He is understood to have returned to the Capital in May last year, rented a one-room accommodation in southeast Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar and rekindled his relationship with Nikita.
Though police said they were yet to ascertain the exact sequence of events since Salim is admitted to the trauma centre and has been declared unfit to give a statement, sources claimed the violent argument that ended-up claiming Nikita's life stemmed from a financial dispute between the two.
"We have reason to believe that Salim got angered by Nikita's ever-increasing demands for more money. When asked why he did it after he drowsily sauntered into the Ambedkar Nagar Police Station to surrender around 10am, he said he was sick of providing for her and her family," said a senior police officer investigating the case.
The local police, subsequently, rushed Salim to the trauma centre where he was admitted and diagnosed with poisoning. His initial medical examination revealed that he had consumed a household pesticide-based product around 8:30am.
"We have registered a case of murder but things will become clear only after Salim gains consciousness and is declared medically fit to give a statement," DCP Sharma added.