THE DELHI Police arrested an Army officer, Major Nikhil Rai Handa (40), from Meerut on Sunday in connection with the murder of another Army Major’s wife in the Capital.
Shailza Dwivedi (35), wife of Major Amit Dwivedi, was found dead at Brar Square, near Delhi Cantonment Metro station, on Saturday. Police said her throat had been slit and, according to eyewitnesses, she was thrown out of a vehicle which then ran over her.
Joint Commissioner of Police (western range) Madhup Tiwari said they were questioning Handa.
Police sources said preliminary questioning suggested that Handa was “obsessed” with the victim. “He told us that the woman was forcing him to marry her,” said a police source.
According to police sources, Handa and Shailza got to know each other through Facebook in 2015. Later, after they became friends, she reportedly introduced him to her husband in Dimapur, where both the officers were posted at the time. While Handa was earlier posted in Meerut, he was transferred to Dimapur about a year ago. His family lives in Saket, in South Delhi.
About two months ago, Dwivedi came to Delhi for a training programme. According to Shailza’s brother, Dwivedi was scheduled to join a UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan.
“When Handa tried to go beyond mere friendship, Shailza started ignoring him. Reports of my sister having an affair with him are completely false,” Shailza’s brother told The Indian Express.
On Saturday, Handa reportedly called Shailza to the Army Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment, where he had taken his son for treatment. According to police, Shailza went to the hospital at 10 am. She left the hospital half-an-hour later and was found dead around 1.30 pm. Police said she had been visiting the hospital for the last four days for treatment of her ankle.
According to police sources, Handa has said that he picked up Shailza from outside the hospital. While they were driving around, they reportedly had an argument and he attacked her with a knife, after which she jumped out of his vehicle and started running. Police sources said Handa then mowed her down, before fleeing the spot.
DCP (west) Vijay Kumar said Handa’s movements near the hospital and Delhi Cantonment Metro station had been corroborated with the help of CCTV footage. “He killed her between 12.30 pm and 1.15 pm. Her mobile phone, which he threw, is yet to be recovered,” said Kumar.
Police said Dwivedi had raised suspicion that Handa may be behind the crime, following which a police team was set up to find him. “Handa had switched off his mobile phone, but the team picked him up from Meerut Cantonment area. His car was recovered from the Army Mess in the cantonment,” said Kumar.
Meanwhile, the post-mortem examination revealed that the victim was hit on the head with a blunt object, and her throat slit. Police said the body has been handed over to her family, who have left for Amritsar to perform the last rites.
Shailza and Amit Dwivedi got married in 2009 and have a six-year-old son. They stayed at the Army quarters in Naraina.