Senior UP BJP leader Hukum Singh’s wife Rewati, (75), was strangled to death at her Gandhi Colony residence in Muzaffarnagar, 430 kilometers west of Lucknow on Saturday.
Her bedroom’s rear door was not locked from inside, suggesting a “friendly entry.” The lock and key to the door were also missing.
There were blood stains on a pillow and injury marks on victim’s face including swelling between her nose (from which blood was oozing out) and lips, suggesting death due to strangulation.
As all the valuables in the house, including diamond and gold ornaments worn by Rewati, were found intact, the police have ruled out loot as the possible murder motive.
Though the dog squad used for the investigation wasn’t of much help due to excessive rain in the region, Brij Lal, UP’s additional director general of police (ADG), while claiming to crack the case soon, hinted at the possibility of it being an insider job.
Only one of three almirahs in the bedroom were found open from which a brief case with a combination lock was taken out and checked by the assailants, who police claim might have been more than one. The empty briefcase was also found from the room.
A carbine, apparently that of Singh’s shadow (each MLA is entitled for one personal security guard) as well as a licensed firearm, in the name of Singh, was also found from the open almirah.
It wasn't clear why the official carbine of Hukum Singh's gunner was lying in Singh's bedroom when the leader was away. The gunner too wasn't present on the spot.
Preliminary investigations carried out by the police, based on the version of servants, Shankar and Ajay suggests that like on other days Rewati “had locked the bedroom from inside on Friday night, before going to sleep”.
However, at around 9.30 am on Saturday, when she didn’t emerge from her room, her servants along with Anuj Pal, her grand nephew who lives in the adjacent house, decided to “wake her up.” It was then discovered that the bedroom door was open from inside.
"The manner of the entry suggests that the assailant was known to the victim. So in all probability she must have opened the door was hearing a familiar voice," a cop said.
Hukum Singh, also a party MLA from Kairana assembly constituency, along with senior leaders including party president Surya Pratap Shahi and Vinay Katiyar, in Lucknow for a routine training camp of the party, has air dashed to Muzaffarnagar.
The BJP camp has been called off and party leaders have condoled the death.