A 45-year-old nurse working at Lok Nayak Hospital in Central Delhi was found dead in her bathroom on Saturday night, with her face submerged in a tub filled with water.
According to police, the nurse, Nirmal, had been working at the hospital for the past 20 years and was living in the staff quarters. Police said the body had begun to decompose, leading them to suspect that she had died at least two days before. No external injury marks were visible on the body, police said.
According to police, Nirmal had asked her department in-charge for leave on Thursday and Friday, claiming she was unwell. So, police said, no one tried to check on her for three days.
Her death was reported after he brother, who lives in Sonepat, came to check on her as she was not responding to phone calls. “Nirmal used to visit her parents and brother in Sonepat every Saturday. When she did not get home till Saturday evening, her brother started calling. When she did not take any of the calls, he came to Delhi to see if everything was fine. He found her body and informed police,” a senior police officer said.
Police said Nirmal’s second-floor quarter, 108, had two doors — one steel and the other wooden. When the brother went to the quarter to check on her, he found both locked from outside. He called her from outside, but when she did not respond, she unlocked the doors and went in, police said.
“The latch is not broken and the doors are intact. Some of her clothes were found strewn around. It appears that the accused did that to mislead the investigator and make it appear like a robbery,” an officer said.
Police suspect that Nirmal suffocated to death as no other injury marks were visible on the body. DCP Central, Alok Kumar said, “Since the body had begun to decompose, we could not identify any visible injury marks. We have sent the body for a post-mortem examination to ascertain the exact cause and time of death. We suspect that she died two days ago. We do not suspect robbery to be the motive, though we still do not know if any valuable item is missing. We are looking at all angles.”
Nirmal’s family members told police that they suspected her husband. The couple had filed for divorce in 2005 after their relations were strained, police said.
Nirmal also has a 15-year-old son who lives with his father. “We have made a list of people who will be questioned. This includes those who frequented her quarter — family, friends, fellow staffers and her husband. The FSL team was also called to carry out an inspection of the crime scene. The matter is under investigation,” an officer said.