Army Major was ‘obsessed’ with officer’s wife whom he met in Nagaland

Army Major was ‘obsessed’ with officer’s wife whom he met in Nagaland

Hindustan Times | June 25, 2018

An Indian Army Major was arrested on Sunday from Uttar Pradesh's Meerut for his alleged involvement in the murder of a fellow officer's wife, who was found with her throat slit near the Delhi Cantonment Metro station, police officials said.

A day after the body of 35-year-old Shailza Dwivedi, wife of Indian Army Major Amit Dwivedi, was found on an isolated road near Brar Square, police said they had arrested Major Nikhil Rai Handa from the army's cantonment in Meerut as he was trying to flee.

A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Handa was "obsessed" with Shailza and was enraged because she had been snubbing his advances and was trying to distance herself from him. Shailza's family, too, accused Handa of stalking her. Her brother, a lawyer in Amritsar, alleged that Handa had mistaken his sister's "friendly behaviour" as a signal that she liked him.

The police were initially informed that Shailza had died in an accident. When they inspected her body, the officials discovered that she had been attacked.

During his questioning, Handa said Shailza was "over-obsessed" with him and had been pressuring him to divorce his wife and marry her, the official said. The arrested army officer has confessed to killing Shailza, saying he committed the crime to "get rid of her", he added.

Madhup Tiwari, joint commissioner of police (western range), said they were investigating the claims made by Handa. "What we know so far is that the army officer was obsessed with the woman. We will question him further," said Tiwari, adding that Handa used a pocket knife to slit Shailza's throat.

Shailza, who had reportedly participated in Mrs India Earth pageant in 2017-18, and Handa knew each other since 2015, when her husband was posted in Nagaland's Dimapur, the police said. The two would meet during official functions and social gatherings there, they said.

Shailza returned to Amritsar from Dimapur with her six-year-old son after her husband was transferred to Delhi for an official training. Her husband is being sent to Congo on a United Nations mission, the police said.

Deputy commissioner of police (west) Vijay Kumar said the pocket knife used in the crime has been recovered along with a bigger knife from Handa's Honda City car that he was driving at the time of the crime.

About the sequence of events leading to Shailza's murder, the DCP said that the two had a telephonic conversation at about 8am on Saturday and decided to meet outside the Army Base hospital in West Delhi. Handa's son is admitted in the hospital, while Shailza was visiting the hospital for physiotherapy. Around 11.30am, the two met and they left in the Honda City car that Handa was driving.

A police officer associated with the probe said that an argument broke out between Shailza and Handa while they were driving around in the Delhi Cantonment area.

"Handa turned violent, took out the pocket knife he had kept in the car and slit Shailza's throat. As he stopped the car, Shailza came out and fell on the car's bonnet. When she started walking, Handa rammed the car her from behind. She fell on the road. Handa ran the car over her. The body was dragged for a few metres. Handa sped away, leaving Shailza to die," the officer said, adding that Handa had cleaned the blood on the knife and the car's bonnet using a towel.

After the crime, Handa went to the hospital to meet his son and wife. He did not tell them about the crime. From there, he went to his parents' home in Saket and told them that he had been involved in an accident. He then visited his uncle's home in Chittaranjan Park.

"When Handa saw on news channels that the police were looking for him, he fled to Meerut and spent the night in army's mess," the officer said.

The police said Handa had come to Delhi from Dimapur on June 4 on the pretext of getting medical treatment at the army hospital for his migraine problem. He got himself admitted at the hospital before leaving for Amritsar, where he stayed for three-four days and met Shailza. After returning to Delhi, he admitted his son to the hospital for treatment of a stomach-related disease, they said.

"We are questioning Handa to ascertain what exactly triggered him to kill Shailza. He will also be quizzed to know if he had planned the crime in advance," said the joint commissioner of police.

Shailza's body has been handed over to her family members after autopsy at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital. The family left for Amritsar with the body on Sunday evening.

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