Four days after Faridabad-based journalist Pooja Tiwari (28) allegedly flung herself across the railing of her fifth floor apartment, her ‘family friend’ and sole eyewitness in the case, Haryana Police officer Amit Vashisht, was arrested for abetting her suicide. “He will be taken in police remand for questioning,” said Hanif Qureshi, Commissioner of Police, Faridabad, Thursday.
Vashisht, an inspector, had been shifted to the DGP’s office in Panchkula till the completion of inquiry in the case. “He has been arrested based on an audio clip in which he is heard quarrelling with Pooja about a man named ‘Banki’. Also, Pooja’s parents gave a statement on Thursday alleging that Amit had breached their trust and could have forced her to take the extreme step,” said Puran Chand, DCP (NIT), Faridabad.
Based on a complaint by Pooja’s father, Ravi Tiwari, police had earlier registered a case of abetment to suicide against Faridabad-based paediatrician Anil Goyal, his gynaecologist wife Archana Goyal, and Dr Dhawal Singh. They were the subject of sting operations conducted by Pooja on sex determination tests. The three doctors had registered an FIR against Pooja accusing her of trying to extort money from them.
Vashisht handed over a ‘suicide note’ reportedly written by Pooja to investigators Wednesday. The three-page note is written in Hindi using Roman script and the colour of ink changes midway, said a source.
Paraphrasing from the note, addressed to Tiwari’s parents, the source said it states, “I am sorry as I do not have courage to fight now… True journalism does not exist anymore… No one but the corrupt police and media who thought of me as an extortionist and ran false stories against me are to be blamed for this step of mine. I am harassed because my company suspended me.”
DCP Puran Chand said Pooja’s family had given samples of her handwriting, which would be sent with the note for forensic examination.
Sources said police would try to ascertain why the note was written in such a manner when Tiwari worked as a journalist with an English news portal. Police are also looking into the account of Pooja’s neighbour that Vashisht often abused the journalist.
Vashisht had earlier told investigators he was at Pooja’s house Sunday night. He claimed at 1.30 am, she flung herself across the railing, but held on to the grill. He claimed he held on to her for a few seconds but “could not hold on”. Meanwhile, Pooja’s organisation said she was suspended as part of standard operating process to be able to carry out a fair inquiry.