Arpita Tiwari murder case: Mumbai police say victim rejected suspect’s advances

Four months after his arrest in the Arpita Tiwari murder case, her friend Amit Hazra was released on bail by a sessions court on Wednesday.

mumbai Updated: May 17, 2018 11:00 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
mumbai,amit hazra,accused gets bail
Events anchor Arpita Tiwari

“You are my friend, be my friend. Do not try to become my boyfriend,” events anchor Arpita Tiwari told her alleged killer Amit Hazra just a few hours before she was found dead at Malwani’s Manavsthal Apartment in Malad (West). The revelation is part of the charge sheet filed by the Malwani police against Hazra.

The police have submitted that Hazra had taken a liking to the 25-year-old anchor and had been trying to get cosy with her. The basis for these assertions comes from statements given to the police by Tiwari’s boyfriend, who is also a suspect as per the charge sheet.

According to the boyfriend’s statement, he and Tiwari reached Hazra’s shared apartment in Malad around 3.15 am on December 11, 2017.

“She couldn’t stand up properly because she was drunk. Hazra then held her by her waist, propping her up with her hand over his shoulder. She then lay down on the sofa without changing her clothes. I was resting in the bedroom. Hazra was constantly telling her to change her clothes and was touching her thigh. That’s when she got irritated and reprimanded him for behaving like her boyfriend,” his statement read.

Tiwari would spend at least two days a week at Hazra’s apartment with her boyfriend, as they went out partying frequently.

Her boyfriend’s statement also states that Hazra would often ask her to meet him alone but she would refuse and always take him along. Hazra would also allegedly sleep in the same room with the couple whenever they stayed over, the police have submitted. When Tiwari’s boyfriend noticed Hazra trying to get physically close to her, he asked her about it. He claims she told him that she would “handle it”.

“Once, Arpita and I had gone to Gorai and we shared our photos on a WhatsApp group. Hazra got upset that we did not invite him,” Tiwari’s boyfriend said to the police.

Police have also recorded the statement of a 54-year-old housewife, who lives on the third floor of the building. She claimed said she heard a falling thud between 7.25 am and 7.30 am. This has helped the police narrow down the time of Tiwari’s death. Tiwari’s body was found around 9.30 am in the duct.

Four months later, prime accused Amit Hazra granted bail

Meanwhile, four months after his arrest in the case, Hazra was released on bail by a sessions court on Wednesday.

Hazra was arrested in January this year.

On May 3, he submitted a bail plea and was represented by defence advocate BD Hatkar. “Police investigations have found that there was no sexual assault and that the victim was high on alcohol on the night of the incident. The police have submitted that Hazra was arrested, based on four replies to the questions he was asked during the polygraph test,” Hatkar argued. “However, the polygraph test is not admissible as evidence according to the law.”

The police opposed the bail application and submitted a reply in the court, stating that they have established that 23-year-old Hazra committed the crime.

The police said they are confident of Hazra’s role in the crime, based on circumstantial evidence and witness statements.

Police said that while there were four other people in the room where Tiwari was last seen alive, it was Hazra who brought everyone’s attention to the bathroom.

The police started investigating the case as a murder after Tiwari’s father, Triveninath, approached them with a complaint against Hazra and the other men present in the apartment the night before her body was found.

The prosecution claimed that Tiwari was thrown from the bathroom window on the night of the incident.

Hatkar argued that 25-year-old Tiwari was stressed owing to her “strained relationship” with her boyfriend, whom she had been with for eight years. “They were in a relationship, but her boyfriend was neither marrying her nor breaking up with her. The police, instead of registering a complaint against the boyfriend, have roped in Hazra in the criminal investigation,” said Hatkar.

Accepting the defence advocate’s submissions, additional sessions judge DK Bhende released Hazra on₹20,000 bail bond with surety.

First Published: May 17, 2018 10:57 IST