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‘He beat me for hours’: Delhi woman who smothered husband says she had no choice

Delhi Police arrested 32-year-old Shilpi Adhikari from southwest Delhi’s Kapashera just before her husband’s body could be cremated. She had told neighbours he died of heart attack

delhi Updated: Jul 27, 2017 13:10 IST
Ananya Bhardwaj
Ananya Bhardwaj
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi crime,Woman kills husband,Domestic Violence
Shilpi Adhikari, 32, has been arrested on July 25 for allegedly killing her husband.(Picture: Sourced)

“He dragged me from the bed each night after he came home drunk and thrashed me. Humiliated me in front of the neighbours. I threatened him that I would kill him. He did not listen. He did not leave me an option,” this is what 32-year-old Shilpi Adhikari, who was arrested on July 25 for allegedly killing her husband, has told Delhi Police.

When she did not know what to do with the body after the murder, she slept beside it for two nights inside her one-room house in Kapashera in southwest Delhi. On the third day, she informed her neighbours and tried to pass the incident off as natural death. She almost managed to get away with it too but a police informer, who noticed strangulation marks on the man’s neck minutes before the body was to be cremated, informed the police and she was arrested.

“She said that her husband snatched the money she earned and spent it all on buying alcohol. Whenever she refused to give him her earnings he would thrash her mercilessly for hours. She said he beat her one night for seven hours straight before he got tired and slept,” an investigating official said.

Adhikari, a native of West Bengal, worked as a housekeeping employee at the Royal Bank of Scotland and was married for 12 years. Her kids — a daughter and a son — study in their village in Midnapur. She told the police that she had to send her children back as her husband would refuse to give their school fees and spent all the money to buy alcohol.

Adhikari told the police that she threatened to kill him several times but could not do it. On July 22, she said, she decided to end her misery for good. According to investigating officials, on Saturday evening after dinner, she offered Nitish alcohol that she had bought from a local shop near her house.

“She told her husband that it was her treat and she continued giving him alcohol till late in the night,” an official said. Around midnight, when he passed out, she allegedly smothered and strangulated him. Unsure about what to do next, she continued to sleep in the same 8x10 feet room with the body,” the officer said.

For more than 48 hours, Shilpi did not step out. On Monday morning, at around 9am, locals in the Kapashera village heard Shilpi crying outside her house. She told locals that her husband had suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep. Nobody suspected her and took the body for cremation.

By noon, the locals reached the crematorium with the body. Shilpi too was there. An officer said that Nitish’s body was on pyre when a police informer noticed marks on it and felt that the smell emanating from the body wasn’t normal. The informer then secretly called inspector Ashish Dalal, posted at the Kapashera police station.

Dalal and his team immediately rushed to the crematorium and stopped the locals from cremating the body. “Had we been 10-15 minutes late, the body would have reduced to ashes. We took the body and sent it for post mortem,” an officer told HT.

Doctors told the police on Tuesday morning that the man had died of strangulation. Shilpi, who was detained from the spot, was formally arrested.

“She thought she would get away with murder once her husband’s body was taken for cremation but the alert police personnel noticed the marks on his neck and stopped the cremation. When questioned, Adhikari broke down and confessed to the crime,” a senior police officer said.

The police have registered a case of murder in the matter but sources said that the sections may eventually be changed to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. A medical examination of the woman too was carried out which proved that she was beaten up and thrashed on several occasions, sources said.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 12:33 IST