Nikki Yadavs murder: accused Sahil Gehlots police custody extended

Nikki Yadav's murder: accused Sahil Gehlot's police custody extended

Sahil Gehlot, the accused in the Nikki Yadav murder, had allegedly planned to get rid of her by pushing her out of his car and passing it off as an accident. But, when his plan could not succeed, he strangulated her inside the car at the Nigambodh Ghat parking area in New Delhi, PTI quoted police as saying.

On Monday (February 20), a court in Delhi extended Gehlot’s police custody by two days and remanded five others, including his father, in judicial custody for two weeks.

Gehlot allegedly killed Yadav, stuffed her body inside a refrigerator of his dhaba in southwest Delhi, and went off to marry another woman. The incident came to light on February 14, Valentine’s Day, four days after the crime. Gehlot’s two cousins and two friends are among those arrested.

‘Gehlot’s father was aware of the murder’

The police sources claimed that Gehlot’s father, Virender Singh, knew about Nikki’s murder and supported his son. He had no qualms in admitting his role in the murder and told the police that they had to somehow get rid of Nikki, they alleged. However, a relative of the Gehlot family claimed they were not aware of their relationship and would have prevented the tragedy.

The investigating officer (IO) informed the court that the identity of the priest who solemnized the marriage between the accused and the victim in October 2020 was ascertained and “verified”.

The officer said that the two had married without informing the family.

Five co-accused remanded to judicial custody for 14 days

Besides extending Gehlot’s police custody by two days, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samiksha Gupta remanded the other five co-accused in the case in judicial custody for 14 days. The IO had sought a three-day extension of Gehlot’s custodial interrogation.

Also read: Delhi man kills girlfriend, dumps body in fridge, marries another woman same day

The officer informed the court that information about the alleged murder committed on February 10 was received four days later, following which Gehlot was arrested and the victim’s body found at his instance. During interrogation, Gehlot revealed the route he had taken with the victim in a car on the fateful day, the IO said. The route covered places such as Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar, Nigambodh Ghat, and finally, the “dhaba” (eatery) of the accused in Mitraon village, he added.

The officer said the route taken by Gehlot was “verified” and cross-checked with the help of CCTV footage. “The accused went to the victim’s house around 1 am (on February 10) and came out of her house at 6 am. We have the CCTV footage of Gehlot coming out of Yadav’s house,” the IO told the court.

Victim wanted social sanction for their marriage

During the investigation, it came to light that Gehlot had secretly married Nikki Yadav in October 2020 and the victim was asking the accused to get a social sanction for the marriage, the IO said.

Meanwhile, Gehlot’s family was pressuring him to marry a woman of its choice and his engagement was fixed on February 9, he said.

“Why do you want three days of police custody when you have identified the route and the priest?” the magistrate asked the IO. To this, the officer said certain aspects related to the probe, including a part of the route taken by the accused, remained to be verified. The court then allowed two days of custodial interrogation of the accused.

Gehlot will now be produced before the court on February 22.

One of the co-accused is a policeman

The others arrested are Gehlot’s father Virender Singh, cousins Naveen and Ashish, and friends Lokesh and Amar. Sources said one of the cousins of Gehlot arrested in the case is a policeman, and an FIR under IPC section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) was registered against him at the Kanjhawala police station in a separate incident.

Also read: Shraddha-like murder in Delhi: body sliced into pieces, stored in fridge

Police collected call details, locations, and CCTV footage of several spots and found that the cousins and friends of Gehlot met him near Paschim Vihar. They were carrying a separate set of clothes for Gehlot that he wore after hiding the body, the sources said.

The investigation is underway and if the role of any other person is found, action will be taken accordingly, they added.

‘We could have prevented this tragedy’

Gehlot’s maternal uncle Yogi Mathur told PTI that the family came to know about the relationship between the couple through media reports.

“None of us knew that they were in regular touch or that they were married and wanted to part ways. If the family was aware of their relationship, a tragedy of this magnitude would not have occurred,” he said.

The family members would have intervened to prevent the tragedy, he added. “When we got together for the wedding (between Gehlot and a woman chosen by his family , we were not aware of anything…. We cannot believe what has happened,” Mathur said, adding, “The family is in shock and pain.”

Recounting the day of the engagement, he said Gehlot suddenly went missing and the family could not trace him. “I was angry but his (Gehlot’s) mother told me not to get angry with him as he was getting married,” Mathur said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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