‘No love, no understanding’: Rohit Shekhar’s wife murdered him over property issues, unhappy marriage, say police

Turbulent married life, property issue and failed ambitions of a high-life and political career drove Apoorva to kill her husband Rohit Shekhar Tiwari in a fit of rage, the Delhi Police said on Wednesday. Apoorva did not like Rohit Shekhars sister-in-law, with whom he would often share jokes, a senior police officer said. His mother Ujjwala and sister-in-law thought he should end his marriage and a decision was supposed to be taken on the couples divorce in June, he added. Apoorva, a 35-year-old lawyer, met Rohit Shekhar through a matrimonial website in 2017 and got married in May 2018, said the officer, adding she was aware he was the son of former Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister N D Tiwari. She was arrested Wednesday. During interrogation, she claimed she was the president of Indian National Trade Union Congress in Indore and had political aspirations but after getting married to Rohit Shekhar in May, she realised that he did not have much of a standing and his political career was not going anywhere. Within 14-15 days of the marriage, she started staying away from the house, the officer said. Sometimes, she would stay at her parents place and sometimes at a rented room she had in south Delhi even before she got married. In July, while he was undergoing bypass surgery and was admitted to a hospital, she had served him a legal notice saying she did not want to live with him. But both the families made the couple sit down and counselled them and advised them to give the marriage a second chance, said the officer, who was privy to the probe. The officer said Apoorva claimed during the interrogation that there was no love, no understanding and the problems were compounded due to a will that had been made before she got married to Rohit Shekhar. According to the will, the property was to be divided in a ration of 60:40 between Rohit Shekhar and his step-brother Siddharth. Siddharth, who did not keep well and had health issues, including severe backache, felt he would not live longer and had said he would give his share of property to the nine-year-old son of a relative of Ujjwalas first husband. This relative and his wife used to call Ujjwala as Maa and this relative was the son of Ujjwalas first husbands cousin. Even Rohith Shekhar had said he would give his share of property to the nine-year-old son of the relative, which had angered Apoorva who felt she was not getting anything from the marriage, the officer said. Apoorva also did not like her husbands closeness with this relatives wife and had made it clear. They said the relatives wife would only come to Rohit Shekhars defence Colony house when there was a family gathering or function. On April 15, Rohit Shekhar, the relatives wife, N D Tiwaris close aide, and two of their other employees were returning from Haldwani after casting their vote and Apoorva had made a video call to Rohit to ask him what he would have for dinner, the officer said. During the course of that video call, she might have seen the woman relative in the car having liquor with Rohit but she did not say anything, he said. After Rohit Shekhar returned home around 10 pm, he had dinner alone and went to his room and in between had come out to meet his mother Ujjwala. He retired to his room since he was tired. Around 12.45 am, Apoorva went to Rohits room after watching TV. While they were in the room, the couple had an argument, the officer said. According to Rajeev Ranjan, additional commissional of police (crime), Apoorva allegedly smothered and strangulated Rohit Shekhar who was too inebriated to offer any resistance. Police said they were suspecting her role since day one of the investigation, after Rohit Shekhars post-mortem report stated he was smothered. During interrogation, she was confronted with facts and kept changing statements often. She even tried to mislead investigators by claiming that she might have accidentally strangulated Rohit Shekhar while they were getting intimate. The suspicion on her arose because only three persons had access to Rohit Shekhars room on the first floor of the house, two servants and Apoorva. We confronted her with circumstantial evidence and she broke down on Wednesday and confessed, the officer said. Police said the bedsheet, the mattress and other samples from the room have been sent for forensic examination while the viscera report is yet to come which will establish whether he was drugged before being killed.