A day after his wife was shot dead, a property dealer in Loni area here was arrested for allegedly hiring a contract killer to kill her over suspicions that she was trying to usurp his land, police said on Wednesday.
Property dealer Haji Saleem hatched a conspiracy to kill his wife Divya Rana and hired a contract killer for the purpose as she was supposedly trying to capture 30 bigah land (12 acres) that he was looking to sell in Chirori town of Loni area, according to police.
Saleem hired Sanjiv, who had earlier worked with him. On Tuesday afternoon, Sanjiv reached Saleem's office and enquired about purchasing a plot of land in Chirori.
Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani told PTI that Saleem and his wife Divya took Sanjiv to Chirori to show the plot in their car.
Saleem was driving the vehicle and Divya was sitting next to him while Sanjiv was in the rear seat, the SSP said.
When the vehicle reached the plot, Sanjiv apparently took out a gun and pumped bullets in Divya's back. After alighting from the car, Sanjiv fled the spot on a motorcycle driven by his accomplice who was waiting for him.
When police detained Saleem for interrogation, he narrated the incident but went back on his words later. Upon pressing further, Saleem confessed to the police that he hired Sanjiv to kill his wife as he thought that she was trying to capture the land in Chirori town.
According to police, Saleem claimed that Divya had stopped him from going to his office many times in the past. Saleem was apparently irritated at his wife's undue interference in the business and planned to eliminate her with Sanjiv's help for which he paid him money. She was Saleem's third wife and the couple had married in a court three years ago.
Divya succumbed to her bullet wounds while undergoing treatment, police said.
Saleem has been sent to judicial custody under IPC Sections 302 (punishment for murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy). Sanjiv and his accomplice are on the run, SSP Naithani added.