Mystery shrouds the death of Rewati Singh (75), wife of Hukum Singh, MLA from Kairana and deputy leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

Her body was recovered from the bedroom of their residence in Gandhi Colony in Muzaffarnagar on Saturday morning. According to police, Ms. Singh was killed late on Friday night.

She was alone

Mr. Singh was in Lucknow and his wife was alone at their residence at the time of the incident. On getting the news, Mr. Singh left for Meerut by a special plane en route Muzaffarnagar.

Two domestic helps, Shankar and Ajay, and Mr. Singh's grandson, Anuj, lived in the outhouse of their residence. There are two doors to gain access to the residence. The rear door was always locked and its keys were kept in the bedroom. Investigations have revealed that the keys of the rear door were missing, which suggested that the assailants might have scaled the wall to enter the house.

ADG (Law and Order) Brij Lal said here on Saturday that when Ms. Singh did not respond till 9 a.m. to repeated calls from outside, the door was forced open by Mr. Anuj Singh and the domestic helps when they found her body. They immediately called the police. Mr. Lal told reporters that part of her face was swollen and ligature marks were found on her neck. It is suspected that she might have been strangulated and since the pillow bore blood stains there is a likelihood that she was smothered with it by the assailants when she offered resistance.

What has added mystery to the murder is the absence of any motive for the killing based on the evidence gathered. Mr. Lal said a gold chain, two diamond ear tops and golden bangles worn by her at the time of her death were found intact, ruling out the possibility of murder for gain. Besides, three almirahs were found to be locked and only one was found partially open and an empty briefcase was found on the floor.

The briefcase was not broken but was apparently opened with the help of a combination lock. Besides, a carbine of the police gunner and the licensed rifle of Mr. Singh placed in the almirah were left untouched.

The dog squad were pressed into service.