She was strangulated and smothered to death

Mystery shrouds the death of 75-year-old Rewati Singh, 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 the Singh residence at Gandhi Colony in Muzaffarnagar on Saturday morning. According to the police, Ms. Singh was killed late on Friday night. She is suspected to have been strangulated and smothered to death as her pillow bore blood stains.

The police are yet to find a possible motive for Ms. Singh's murder.

The former minister and senior BJP leader was in Lucknow and his wife was alone at their residence at the time of the murder. 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 the Singhs' 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 found to be missing, which suggested that the assailants might have scaled the wall for entering the house.

ADG (Law and Order) Brij Lal said in Lucknow on Saturday that when Ms. Singh did not open the door till 9 a.m. it was opened by Mr. Anuj Singh and the domestic helps only to find her lifeless body slumped in the bed. The police were immediately called by them.

Mr. Lal told reporters that the portion of Ms. Singh's body between the nose and lips 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 by the assailants to snuff out her life when she offered resistance.

What has added a mysterious hue to the midnight murder is the absence of any plausible cause for the killing based on the evidence gathered by the police. According to Mr. Lal, a gold chain, two diamond ear tops and golden bangles worn by her at the time of her death were found intact, which ruled out the possibility of loot. Besides, three almirahs were found to be locked and only one almirah was found to be 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. Hukum Singh placed in the almirah were left untouched, the ADG said, adding that the mobile phone of the deceased was found in the bedroom.

Forensic experts and dog squad have been pressed into service and the mobile phone has been seized by the police.