Apoorva Shukla Tiwari, who was the main suspect in the murder of her husband Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, the son of former union minister and Congress stalwart ND Tiwari, has been arrested. Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, 40, was found unconscious last week in their South Delhi home and later declared dead. He was earlier believed to have died of a cardiac arrest.
A Supreme Court lawyer, Apoorva Shukla Tiwari reportedly hails from Indore. She met Rohit Shekhar Tiwari in 2017 in Lucknow through a matrimonial website, his mother Ujjwala Sharma said.
Apoorva Shukla Tiwari and Rohit were seeing each other for a year and later took a break in between. Rohit Shekhar Tiwari maintained distance from her and said he did not want to marry her, Ujjwala Sharma said. "They were not in touch from January to March, 2018. But on April 2 they came to me and expressed their wish to get married," Ujjwala Sharma said. However, their relationship had been strained. They also discussed mutual divorce several times and later decided to end their marriage in June, she added.
"The situation turned so bad that Shekhar and Apoorva were living separately in the same house. They frequently fought with each other," a police officer told news agency IANS.
Ujjwala Sharma said: "Apoorva had an affair with someone before getting married to Shekhar. Her family is money-minded and has always had an eye on our property. They wanted to grab the Defence Colony property from my sons Shekhar and Sidharth. Our house is close to the Supreme Court where Apoorva went for practice."
"I will disclose everything after the condolence meeting. Rajeev, who is our relative and had been the OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to my husband ND Tiwari, has been in our service for the last 40 years. Apoorva used to hate Rajeev's wife because Sidharth wanted to give a share of his property to Rajeev's son," she added.
On April 15, Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, his mother Ujjwala and a relative had driven back from Kathgodam in Uttarakhand, where he had gone to vote for the Lok Sabha election.
No one tried to wake Rohit Shekhar the next morning. A domestic help went in hours later, around 4 pm, and saw him lying unconscious, with a nosebleed. He was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him dead.
"We have arrested Apoorva with the help of scientific evidence and FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report. She confessed that she has murdered her husband and said their marriage was unhappy. She said her hopes and dreams were all dashed," Additional Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan said.
"On the night of the incident, the couple had a fight over a relative. Rohit had been drinking all the way from Uttarakhand to Delhi and was not in a condition to resist. During the fight she pounced on him and smothered him," he added.
"She later destroyed the evidences. All this happened within one-and-half hours," said the officer, adding that she initially tried to mislead the Crime Branch team.
"As of now, from the fact and circumstances, it seems the killing was not planned. The background was there that they had a turbulent marriage and Rohit Shekhar and his family were thinking of separation. After interrogation, it was found that Apoorva Shukla Tiwari and Rohit had a turbulent marriage. All her hopes with the marriage were belied," Mr Ranjan said.
Rohit had fought a six-year-long battle in court to prove that he was the son of ND Tiwari, a veteran Congress leader who was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
ND Tiwari had refused to give his blood sample for a DNA test in 2012 but relented later. In 2014, the Delhi High Court declared that ND Tiwari was Rohit Shekhar's biological father. The same year, ND Tiwari, aged 88, married Rohit Shekhar Tiwari's mother. The senior leader died last year on his 93rd birthday.