Fed up of abuse, Delhi woman kills partner, throws chopped body parts at various places
Sunita’s neighbours say there was a visible difference in her lifestyle since mid-February. The thirty-year-old had begun wearing kurta-salwar, attending weddings and ordering food from outside. She had also purchased a used refrigerator and got a cable connection.
It was only after the police dug deep — literally — that the reason behind the 30-year-old woman’s ‘new-found freedom’ surfaced.
Police said Sunita had killed her 55-year-old live-in partner Rajesh, buried his torso in the backyard of their north Delhi’s Swaroop Nagar home and disposed of his chopped head and limbs at various places in nearby areas. “Sunita was fed up of being thrashed and abused by Rajesh,” Gaurav Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (outer north), said about the motive behind the murder that took place on February 11 and was discovered on March 20.
When Sunita had met Rajesh 15 years ago, she had expected a better life with him, police said. She was only 13 when she had run away from her home in Durg, Chhattisgarh and never returned home. She doesn’t even remember the name of her native village.
In Delhi, she met Rajesh, who hailed from Bihar’s Chhapra district and worked as a mason in the city. “Rajesh abandoned his mother and began living with Sunita. They weren’t married, but lived like a married couple and have an eight-year-old son,” said the officer. Sunita would stitch clothes to add to the family’s income.
But life with Rajesh was ‘suffocating’ and filled with physical and verbal abuse, said the couple’s neighbours in Amrit Vihar Colony of Swaroop Nagar. “They had been living here for six years. Initially, Rajesh wouldn’t let her go out of the house or speak to neighbours. She was allowed to wear only sarees, whereas she longed to wear salwar-kurta,” said Sangeeta, Sunita’s neighbour for the last six years.
It was the physical violence unleashed on Sunita that caught the attention of local residents. “Just days before the murder, Rajesh had grabbed her by her hair and poured a mug of cold water on her. She suffered it all without uttering a word,” said Sangeeta.
While Sunita tried to be social, Rajesh usually remained aloof.
Officers interrogating Sunita said the murder plan was hatched a few months ago after the frequency of abuse increased. “On February 11, she fed two dozen sleeping pills to Rajesh. Once he fell deep asleep, she sent away their son to play outside and used a large kitchen knife to decapitate him,” said an investigating officer, who is not authorised to speak to the media.
The officer said that over the next two hours, she kept her son away as she allegedly used a hacksaw to severe Rajesh’s limbs. “The arms and legs were too long to fit into polythene bags. So, she chopped them into smaller pieces,” said the officer.
The torso was too heavy to be carried out of the house. So Sunita allegedly dug up the backyard of their one-room house and buried it in a two-foot deep pit. “In the early hours of the next morning, she dumped the head and limbs at isolated spots in Bhalaswa Dairy and Burari,” said DCP Sharma. The head was discovered in Bhalaswa Dairy on February 15, but since there was no complaint, police weren’t able to identify the victim.
Neighbours said that they had noticed Rajesh missing, but Sunita would keep saying that he was either away or at work. “Earlier, her entire house was accessible to us. But since mid-February, she would stop us from going to her backyard. She would also often say that Rajesh’s phone had broken down,” said Asha, a neighbour.
Sunita allegedly told her son that Rajesh was away on a long trip in a ship ,” said an officer.
A CHANGED LIFE
A change in her lifestyle and behaviour too caught the attention of her neighbours. “She had suddenly begun dressing well and wearing salwars and kurtas. She got five of them stitched. She looked cheerful. She also attended two weddings in our neighbourhood in the days following the murder,” said Sangeeta.
“She purchased a used refrigerator and got a cable connection that Rajesh had earlier denied her,” said Asha.
On the morning of March 20, the house owner’s sister-in-law, Indrakala Tiwari, visited the place to collect the Rs 1,100 as monthly rent. “Sunita tried to prevent me from visiting the backyard and I found that odd. I still walked inside and found fresh mud and bricks in one corner of the backyard. She blamed a neighbour of dumping it there,” said Tiwari.
Tiwari wasn’t happy with the changes and brought her brother-in-law, Ashu, to the house around 8pm. “Ashu questioned the neighbour who refuted the allegations. It was then that we decided to call the police,” said Tiwari.
When the police decided to dig the ground, Sunita went dead silent. “But she put up a brave front. She sat on a chair in the backyard even as he police began digging,” said Tiwari.
THE MISSING PARTS
Police said it didn’t take them long to link Sunita to the crime and the recovered head to the torso. “The next day, she led us to the place where she had dumped the limbs. They had decomposed and appeared to be partially eaten by animals. we also recovered the weapons,” said the investigator. The police had initially suspected that Sunita had worked with some friend to commit the crime, but ruled out the possibility after her interrogation.
“She showed no remorse. She didn’t regret getting caught either,” said the police officer.