Kritika Choudhary Murder: ‘Robbery Might Be the Motive’
Suspects have been rounded up by the police for questioning in the Kritika Choudhary murder case.
Family of Kritika Choudhary, the 28-year-old small-time actor who was found murdered at her Andheri residence on Monday evening, suspect that robbery might be the motive behind the crime since valuables worth Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh were missing from her person when her partly-dressed corpse was discovered.
The family suspect that someone known to Kritika has committed the murder, and shed light on Kritika’s former husband, a “con man” who had been perpetually harassing her until three years ago.
Meanwhile, investigators at the Amboli police have detained two persons in connection with the crime, and are making further inquiries.
Deepak Choudhary, Kritika’s 25-year-old brother, while speaking to The Quint from Haridwar after performing the actor’s last rites at an Andheri crematorium, said,
My sister was fond of jewellery and would regularly wear bangles, a gold chain, five or six rings, and a bracelet, collectively worth Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. When I reached Mumbai on Tuesday, I inquired with the cops about these belongings, but they stated that Kritika was found without any jewellery on her person. I suggested that the crime might be motivated by an intention to rob, but they haven’t included the robbery charge in the First Information Report (FIR). Since I was busy with my sister’s cremation, I didn’t pursue the matter, and shall do so once I return to Mumbai in a few days.Deepak Choudhary, Kritika’s brother
Deepak said that he last spoke to his sister on the morning of June 7, when they exchanged regular updates. Nothing seemed to be awry then. However, when he called her the following day, she did not answer. Soon, her phone switched off. Unable to establish contact with her for four days, the family decided to send Deepak to Mumbai to check on her. But even before he could board the train from his hometown, Haridwar for the city, officials from the Mumbai police phoned him, informing him about the murder.
“Even when we were thinking of visiting Mumbai to check on Kritika, we did not suspect anything wrong. She was living in Mumbai, such an urbane city, one of the safest places in the world. It was a thing of wild dreams, imagining that something like this could happen to her in a place like Mumbai. And we still can’t believe it’s true – that somebody not just killed her, but barged into the safety of her home, and did so. I just know that someone known to her has committed the crime. How else could he lock the door from outside? Why else would my sister let him inside her home?” said Deepak, a travel agent by profession.
He added that his father suffers from a couple of ailments, and does not keep well. When Deepak and his mother left for Mumbai after learning about Kritika’s death, they did not tell the father that she had been killed. Very quietly, the two sneaked out of the house, and boarded the midnight train to Mumbai. The father found out about her death when he didn’t find his wife and son at home the next morning, when his daughter-in-law finally gave in to his multitude questions.
Deepak also spoke about Kritika’s former husband, one Vijay Dwivedi, who he alleged was a “con man,” and had duped several people in the past. With four to five cases of cheating registered against him in Delhi as well as Mumbai, the man was a fraud, said Deepak, and had been on the run to escape punishment.
Asked if he suspected Dwivedi to be behind the crime, Deepak said he couldn’t tell since the man had not been in touch for the past three years. Dwivedi was reportedly arrested by the Mumbai crime branch in 2012 for allegedly conning several film personalities by posing as the son of an influential politician.
“Even after my sister separated from him, he would keep calling her continuously, and kept harassing her. Even if she switched her phone off, he would wait for the phone to come back on, and would continue with his incessant calls. When she couldn’t take it anymore, my sister confided in me. Subsequently, I came to Mumbai, and registered a complaint against him with the Amboli police. He didn’t bother her after that, not to my knowledge,” said Deepak, adding that Kritika hadn’t complained of harassment from her former husband or any other man in the recent past.
He stated that his family is having indescribable difficulty in coming to terms with Kritika’s death.
It was too sudden, the loss, and the woman’s aggrieved parents have barely eaten after they found out about her death. Kritika’s mother, said Deepak, often collapses between her wails, while their father has resigned to mournful silence.
Kritika, he said, had visited Haridwar on April 25 this year to attend a pooja at her home, and now, the family wishes that they hadn’t let her go.
“I do not know who has killed her, but I do find it perplexing that despite CCTV cameras in the vicinity, gatekeepers on the building’s entrance, I’m told that there are no leads on the accused yet. I believe in the Mumbai police, and I believe that they’re doing their job,” said Deepak.
But they better find my sister’s killers. It is imperative; else, women will lose the heart to leave their homes, and pursue their dreams.Deepak
Meanwhile, the Mumbai police have drawn a list of people who Choudhary was in touch with via her phone, messengers and social media accounts to zero in on the suspects. Sources said that in the CCTV footage obtained from near her building premises, two unfamiliar persons can be seen walking out of her building on the night of June 7, when the cops suspect the actor was killed.
Two men have been detained in connection with the crime, revealed sources, adding that these inquiries might blow the lid off the perpetrators.
Kritika’s former husband is also being quizzed, however, there are no concrete leads on his involvement yet.
“Several people, including friends, acquaintances, housing society members, maids, gatekeepers, have been questioned so far. It appears that the crime was not a pre-meditated one since the accused did not seem to carry any weapons or restraints. We suspect that it took place at the spur of a moment. Also, the criminal/s appear to be novices since they’ve left the murder weapon, a knuckle duster at the crime scene,” said an official from the Mumbai police, who did not wish to be named.
Dr Rashmi Karandikar, deputy police commissioner, and spokesperson for the Mumbai police refused to comment on the details saying, “Our investigation is in progress.”
(Puja Changoiwala is a journalist, and author of the critically-acclaimed true crime book, ‘The Front Page Murders.’)
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