‘Obsessed’ Army Major made 3,300 calls in 6 months to woman he allegedly killed
The murder of an army officer’s wife in Delhi Cantonment on Saturday came across as “pre-planned”, police said a day after arresting an army major, Nikhil Rai Handa, for the crime.
“The presence of one or two knives in the Honda City car of the accused suggest that it was not a crime that was committed at the spur of the moment,” said Madhup Tewari, joint commissioner of police (western range).
One of those weapons, a pocket knife, was allegedly recovered from Handa’s car. “It had blood stains,” said Tewari. The second knife is yet to be recovered.
Shailza Dwivedi, the 35-year-old wife of another army major, was found murdered on an isolated road near the Delhi Cantonment Metro station at 1.28pm on Saturday.
Handa’s interrogators said he showed no remorse during questioning. “Not once, he regretted killing the woman. Instead, he avoided answering our questions and even misled us. His response shows he still believes he will get away with the crime,” said another investigator.
The investigator said Handa and Shailza knew each other since 2015, when the two officers were posted in Dimapur, Nagaland. Handa has told police that it was Shailza who was “obsessed” with him, but investigators said they will take his claims with “a pinch of salt”.
“Shailza is not there to defend herself and Handa could be making outrageous claims to save himself,” said the officer, maintaining the police’s version that it was Handa who was pursuing Shailza against her wishes.
Shailza’a brother, Sukaran Kalia, denied reports of any “extramarital affair” between the two. “My sister was living a very happy life but the accused was obsessed with my sister and was enraged because she had been snubbing his advances... He should be given capital punishment,” Kalia said after cremating his sister in Amritsar on Monday.
Handa’s interrogation, meanwhile, has revealed that he had come to Delhi on June 4 on the pretext of treatment for migraine. “Though he got himself admitted at the army’s Base Hospital, he also visited Shailza’s parental home in Amritsar to meet her, his second such visit in two months,” said the investigator.
“Their phone call records showed 3,300 phone calls and 1,500 text messages exchanged between the two since January, most of which were from Handa’s side,” said a police officer.
Shailza had arrived in Delhi earlier this month to live with her husband and receive physiotherapy sessions at the Base Hospital. “Handa, whose son too is admitted there for a stomach ailment, would use her visits as an opportunity to confront and interact with her,” said the officer.
On Saturday, Handa asked Shailza to sit in his car before he drove her around Cantonment for nearly two hours.
“In the car, Handa reiterated his proposal that both divorce their spouses quickly and marry each other. When Shailza refused, Handa called his wife over the phone, put the call on loudspeaker and began arguing with her in his bid to make his divorce intentions clear to Shailza,” said the investigator.
Police said it was Handa’s lastditch effort to get Shailza on board and when even that did not work, he pulled out a knife and stabbed her.
“As Shailza tried to escape from the car, Handa deviated from his plan and ran his car over her twice,” said the officer, adding they are also investigating if Handa had visited the crime scene even after the body was found.