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Abused ex-wife in murder rap

A woman murdered her husband, whom she had divorced a fortnight back, with help from a trusted servant and a hired accomplice, report Abhishek Bhalla and Sanjeev K Ahuja.

delhi Updated: Aug 06, 2007 02:55 IST

They’d been divorced for a fortnight and estranged for longer, but he continued to exploit her sexually. Unable to take it any longer, she murdered him with help from a trusted servant and a hired accomplice, and dumped the body off the Delhi-Jaipur highway.

Police of two states are working with these basic assumptions to piece together details of what appears to be the grisly endgame of a marriage gone horribly wrong.

Thirty-five-year-old Niti Agarwal, her cook Nandlal, and a hired driver called Zile Singh were arrested on Saturday evening. The body of Niti’s former husband, 41-year-old sugar mill owner Aditya Kumar, had been found in Behror, Rajasthan, earlier. His head had been smashed and he appeared to have been strangled, a Delhi Police officer said.

Kumar was seen alive at a petrol pump in Kalkaji on the evening of July 29. He had left Pilibhit in UP, where he owned the mill, at 5 the same morning, and had driven down to Delhi in a Scorpio. It appears he asked the driver of the vehicle to go, and meet him two days later.

On July 31, Kumar’s father complained to the Pilibhit police that he had received a ransom call, demanding Rs 1 crore. But they apparently told him to go to the Delhi Police, since Kumar had been last seen in Delhi. On August 1, the Kalkaji police registered a case of abduction.

The case changed dramatically on Saturday (August 4). A man called Radheyshyam turned up before the Gurgaon police, and told them that Niti had killed Kumar with the help of Nandlal at a rented apartment in Silver Oaks in DLF City, put the body in a carton, and dumped it at Behror. He had driven their car, Radheyshyam told the police.

The Gurgaon police registered a case of murder and informed their Delhi counterparts. Within hours, Delhi Police swooped on Niti. Nandlal and Zile were picked up soon after. According to police sources, Niti told interrogators she had been divorced from Kumar on July 19, but he had continued to exploit her sexually. She had been in an abusive marriage with him for 15 years, and had two children.

“Three people are in custody and we are interrogating them. There might be more people involved in the crime,” Anil Shukla, DCP, South, said.

Sources in Gurgaon police said Radheyshyam too could be involved. Niti apparently paid Rs 10,000 each to Zile and Radheyshyam. In his statement to the Gurgaon police, Radheyshyam gave Niti’s name as Naina Agarwal — possibly mistakenly. Mohammed Hussain, SHO of DLF police station, told HT: “We registered a case of murder on the basis of the statement by Radheyshyam who claimed he was hired by Naina for driving a Scorpio, number HR04C 4218, to an unknown location in Rajasthan from her residence in Silver Oaks on July 29. He told us that on reaching Hamidpur in Behror, Naina and her servant had the vehicle stopped at a secluded spot, and dumped a carton they were carrying there.”

Sources said the Scorpio had been set on fire to destroy evidence, but this could not be confirmed. Sources said Kumar’s cellphone records show he last spoke with Niti on July 29. A raid on her flat had revealed nothing.

First Published: Aug 06, 2007 02:37 IST