The husband of a woman who was shot dead in a car in the heart of the Indian capital has confessed to the crime, the police has said today, alleging that he had secretly married another woman who he wanted to be with. Priya Mehra, 34, was shot in her face and head early last morning. Her husband, Pankaj Mehra, and one-year-old son were in the car with her at the time of the shooting.
Mr Mehra at first told the police that he owed Rs. 40 lakh to a money-lender who had been threatening him with violence if the money was not paid; he said the shooting was a result of his debt.
He said that at 4:15 am, his wife was shot at by four men in another car in the heart of the capital. Mr Mehra said the attackers overtook his car, blocked it and smashed a window using a gun. He claimed he tried to fight off the attackers but they opened fire, missed him, and two bullets hit his wife instead.
“After that the gun got stuck,” Pankaj Mehra’s nephew Ankit Mehra, 26, told news agency IANS.
As the assailants tried to reach for another gun, Mr Mehra said he managed to start his car and escape from the area and called the police to say he was headed to a hospital nearby.
His family claimed that Ms Mehra was alive when she reached there. “She was blinking her eyes,” Pankaj Mehra’s sister Sabeena told IANS.
The young woman died half-an-hour later.
Mr Mehra had opened a restaurant in north Delhi last year but had to close it down after massive losses. The police says he was trying to use that to establish a motive for his wife’s killing.
“Pankaj was married to another woman despite being married to Priya. He was inclined towards his other wife and thought of eliminating Priya,” said senior police officer Milind Dumbere.