Mumbai: An ayurvedic doctor killed her husband, after the couple entered a heated argument over intimacy, on Thursday night at their Borivli residence. She then tried to mislead the police by giving them false information that her husband had died of an electric shock while repairing a fan. However, Dr Pragya Bhattacharya's lie was busted after her husband Tushar's autopsy report revealed strangulation as the cause of death. Dr Pragya was arrested on Saturday morning.
Cause of murder
According to the police, the couple entered a heated argument after Tushar demanded sex a second time that night, to which Pragya objected. During their fight she pushed him. An alcoholic, Tushar lost his balance and hit his head hard on the wall, and collapsed onto the floor.
It was here that Dr Pragya strangled him using a towel. Being in an inebriated state, Tushar couldn't fight back, and was killed easily. Dr Pragya and Tushar, a decorator by profession, had been married for the past 20 years and have an 18-year-old daughter. While Tushar hailed from Karnataka, Dr Pragya's hometown was in Gujarat.
Deception and arrest
On Friday morning, Dr Pragya called the police, and informed them that Tushar had died of an electric shock while repairing a fan on Thursday night. Based on her statement, the Borivli police registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in the matter. However, Tushar's autopsy report from Bhagwati Hospital, which came on Saturday morning, revealed strangulation as the cause of death, and that he had fractured his skull before his death.
Based on the report findings, the police arrested Dr Pragya, and produced her in Borivli court. She was remanded to police custody till June 20. Dr Pragya was booked under Sections 199 (False statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 302 (murder) of the IPC.
The police officials said, to mislead the investigators, Dr Pragya kept on changing her statements. Initially she had said that Tushar had died of an electric shock while repairing a fan and that she was sleeping in another room when the incident occurred. However, she changed her statement after the autopsy report was out.
Dr Pragya then told the officials that it was she who had pushed Tushar following which his head hit the wall and died on the spot. It was only after the officials informed her that autopsy report has ascertained strangulation as the cause of death and that they had recovered bloodstained clothes from their residence, Dr Pragya broke down, and confessed to her crime.
PI Ravi Adane of Borivli police station said, "Initially, we registered an ADR on Friday, as his wife told us that he had died of an electric shock. His body was sent for post-mortem to Bhagwati Hospital. The report revealed that the deceased had been strangulated and had a fractured skull. Initially, she kept changing her statements, but eventually confessed to her crime."
"On the night of the murder, he was heavily drunk. When he forced her to get intimate for the second time, she refused. This led to an argument between the two and she pushed him. This made him lose his balance and he hit his head on the wall. After he collapsed onto the ground, she strangled him using a piece of cloth, which we have recovered from the flat," said an officer, requesting anonymity.
'It was confusing'
"On the day after his murder, she borrowed a torch from me. I was confused as to why anybody would need a torch in the morning. She was a working woman and hardly spoke to anybody in the society. She was staying on rent and had shifted here on April 1," said one of the neighbours. The police officials are now recoding statements of Bhattacharya's neighbours and relatives.