The 28-year-old wife of an Indian Air Force officer has been arrested for drugging and murdering him with the help of her teenaged lover in southwest Delhi last month, the police said on Saturday.
Sudha Chandra, investigators said, was not satisfied with her husband, Sergeant Ramesh Chandra, 40, and fell in love with a 17-and-a-half-year-old whom she used to tutor to supplement her husband’s income. She had met him six months ago.
The couple has a three-year-old daughter and stayed at the Indian Air Force residential quarters in Subroto Park near Delhi Cantonment. While Sudha was arrested, her teenaged partner-in-crime has been sent to a juvenile observation home on May 08.
On April 10, Sudha rushed her husband to hospital in a ‘serious medical condition’ after which doctors declared him dead. The police were informed and they questioned her as part of a routine course.
“She told us the Sergeant was an alcoholic and had health problems,” said a police officer. “But we had a hunch there was more to it. So we sent his body for post-mortem examination as Inspector Suresh Kumar and Sub-Inspector KB Jha decided to investigate the death a little more closely till the report came through,” the officer added.
Wife had begun ‘new life’ with lover
When the police received the post-mortem report on May 5, Inspector Kumar and SI Jha’s hunch was confirmed: the cause of the Sergeant’s death was strangulation.
“So we went looking for Sudha and the teenager and were told that the two had moved out of his flat and were living in at a house on rent not far away,” said an officer.
“In fact, Sudha had even applied for an appointment in the Air Force on compassionate grounds in the meantime and requested that his gratuity be paid to her Air Force at the earliest,” the officer said. She had allegedly insisted on performing his last rites hurriedly to tamper with police investigation.
Used internet for help, planned murder over a month
The police then mounted technical surveillance on Sudha and realised that there was one telephone number that accounted for most her communication before, on the night of and after her husband’s death.
“SI KB Jha then verified that this number belonged to a boy she had just begun tutoring. We took both of them in for questioning during which they broke down when confronted with the evidence he had,” the officer said.
“Sudha told us that she and her lover had been planning the murder for over a month. Both of them are tech-savvy and had even used the internet to understand how to go about killing someone after sedating them. Sudha had drugged him on the evening of April 9 before calling her friend who strangled him to death,” the officer added.
Police believe lover is not a juvenile
When confronted with arrest, Sudha’s lover told police that he was a juvenile and couldn’t be arrested.
“He has produced a certificate which states that he is six months short of being a major. But we have reason to believe that it is forged. We are thinking about registering a case of forgery and cheating against him after we prove it,” the officer said. Sudha will be produced before a city court early next week.