Rohini murders: Restaurateur hired live singers for his bar, fell for both, says family of wife
Priya’s relatives on Saturday revealed that the woman for whom Pankaj allegedly killed his wife in Rohini on Wednesday morning had worked as a singer at his bar-cum-restaurant in PaharganjUpdated: Oct 28, 2017 23:19 IST
Two-years-ago when Pankaj Mehra had first mooted the idea of having live singers at his floundering bar-cum-restaurant in Paharganj, his wife Priya’s family resented it.
Priya’s family were restaurateur Pankaj’s business partners. And with Pankaj insisting, there was little that they could do but relent. Little did they, however, know that this very idea of having live singers would one day cost Priya her life.
Priya’s relatives on Saturday revealed that the woman for whom Pankaj allegedly killed his wife in Rohini on Wednesday morning had worked as a singer at his bar-cum-restaurant in Paharganj.
“There were two singers with whom Pankaj was having extramarital affairs. We did not like the idea of having women singers entertain customers, but Pankaj insisted that they were necessary for the business. The live singing couldn’t help the business recover, but we lost our daughter,” said Priya’s uncle, Harish Manghani, on Saturday.
“Priya and Pankaj had fallen in love when they were both 17. They married when they were around 22 or 23. There was no problem in their relationship until the singers came in,” said Rajesh Manghani, another uncle.
Priya’s mother, Manju, had earlier told Hindustan Times that Pankaj had married one of the women and had fathered a child with her. When Priya questioned his relationship with the other woman, Pankaj would beat her up, Manju had alleged.
Police said they were yet to interrogate the woman named by Priya’s parent, who is believed to be in her early 30s. “We have tried to reach out to the woman, but she has not been cooperative. She will be questioned soon,” said Milind Dumbere, DCP (northwest). A police source said that the woman had not joined the probe as she was scared of being linked to the crime.
Pankaj Mehra was arrested on Thursday after police debunked his story of armed men — allegedly sent by his moneylender — waylaying his car near Rohini jail and shooting his wife Priya dead.
Police claimed CCTV footage and scientific evidence helped them nail Pankaj’s lies. Rajesh Khurana, joint CP (northen range), alleged that Pankaj wanted to get rid of Priya so that he could live with the other woman. Pankaj also blamed his moneylender for the murder so that he did not have to return the Rs 40 lakh that he owed him.
The police, however, are yet to find the murder weapon – a pistol.. “We are searching for the weapon as it is a crucial evidence to establish Pankaj’s involvement,” said an investigator.
According to the DCP, Pankaj has claimed that after shooting Priya twice, from point-blank range, he drove towards a hospital and threw the pistol out of the car window below a flyover loop ahead of Mukarba Chowk . “Since Pankaj’s role in the murder was established much later, we began a search for the weapon only 24 hours after the murder,” said an investigator.
Meanwhile, Priya’s younger brother, Karthik, has offered to adopt the couple’s two-year-old son who was sleeping in his mother’s lap at the time of her murder. “My wife and I want bring him up along with our daughter,” Karthik told Hindustan Times on Saturday.
First Published: Oct 28, 2017 23:18 IST