HT Exclusive | Nikki, Sahil were married; his family knew, helped in crime: Cops
In a a startling revelation in the murder of the 24-year-old woman, Delhi Police said that Sahil Gehlot and Nikki Yadav got married in a secret ceremony at an Arya Samaj Mandir in Noida in October 2020.
Sahil Gehlot and Nikki Yadav got married in a secret ceremony at an Arya Samaj Mandir in Noida in October 2020, Delhi Police said on Friday -- a startling revelation in the murder of the 24-year-old woman -- and arrested five members of Gehlot’s family, including his father, for their role in the conspiracy to kill her.
Gehlot allegedly murdered Yadav on February 10 in the parking lot of Delhi’s Nigambodh Ghat crematorium. He then drove more than 40km to his village Mitraon in north-west Delhi. He left the car, with the body in it, at a dhaba owned by his family. He married another woman the same evening -- this match was arranged by his family -- and returned to his eatery late that night to stuff the body into a fridge.
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Special commissioner of police (crime) Ravindra Yadav told HT on Friday that Gehlot ‘s family knew he and Yadav were married, and were complicit in the murder conspiracy, and in helping him tamper with evidence.
The special commissioner added that police arrested Gehlot’s father, Virendra Singh; his two cousins, Ashish Kumar and Naveen (who goes by single name); and two friends, Lokesh Singh and Amar Singh.
According to the special commissioner, during detailed questioning by police, Gehlot told investigators that Yadav and he got married on October 1, 2020, but she was now pressuring him to marry her in a formal ceremony. When he told his family about this, the five accused allegedly planned to eliminate Yadav. Gehlot told the five accused about the murder soon after strangling her with a mobile phone data cable, the senior officer said.
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“We are still investigating to gather more details,” the special commissioner said.
Another senior officer aware of the probe said, “Despite queries from the investigators, the five accused feigned ignorance. After the murder, they were trying to arrange for a big suitcase and a big vehicle for Gehlot so that he could dispose of the dead body at a hill station.” This officer asked not to be named.
Gehlot was arrested on February 14 by crime branch officials for allegedly killing Yadav hours before marrying another woman. Investigators said that at the time Gehlot and Yadav were in a relationship, and were living together for the past few years.
The second officer quoted above said a lot of contradictions were found between the statement given by the accused before the police, and the facts that came out during investigation. “To recreate the sequence of events, police took Gehlot to the victim’s house in Uttam Nagar, and the place of murder (Nigambodh Ghat, as per his statement). But there were many contradictions found in his statement. Even the timeline provided by him does not exactly corroborate his statements before the police,” he said.
The officer added that the police on Friday summoned the parking staff of the Nigambodh Ghat -- who ostensibly saw the couple arguing in the car -- to join the investigation.
“We’ve seized the DVR of the CCTV cameras and will use the footage as key evidence to establish that the couple was present in the parking lot. We again took Gehlot to Yadav’s flat and asked him to explain when he arrived there, what happened between him and Yadav at the flat, and when they left the building. Earlier, Gehlot claimed that he left the flat around 1.30 am. But contrary to his statement, when we checked the CCTV cameras installed at the building and in the lane outside, it showed that the couple left the building around 5am,” the investigator said.
“Since the route through the Outer Ring Road is very long, it will take time to locate CCTV cameras and collect footage. The footage will help us corroborate his version regarding the route he took while going to Mitraon. Gehlot was also taken to the dhaba to recreate the sequence of him parking the car, shifting Yadav’s body in its trunk from the front seat and finally dumping her body in a refrigerator,” the officer added.
When contacted, the victim’s father, Sunil Yadav, said that the arrest of the alleged conspirators is the victory of justice. “They are well-off people. Only law of the land can teach them a lesson. I want the killer to be hanged,” he told HT over the phone.