10-year-old girl’s testimony nails mother’s ‘killer’

Beautician Shweta Saini, who died on Tuesday night after falling off the balcony of her eighth-floor flat in Noida's Sector-50, was murdered, police said on Thursday.

Her 35-year-old live-in partner, Mukesh Saini, who has been arrested for abetting suicide, was on Thursday charged with murder after Shweta's daughter and niece gave their testimony against him, police said.

Daughter Sahiba (10) and niece Deepa saw Mukesh push Shweta from the balcony of their home in Kailash Dham Apartments after an argument around 10 pm on Tuesday, a police officer said.

Mukesh was produced before a magistrate, who remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

"After charging Mukesh under Section 306 of the IPC, we have now booked him under Section 302 for murdering 35-year-old Shweta," Gautam Budh Nagar SSP Praveen Kumar said.

The two children were initially reluctant to tell police about the incident, though Sahiba allegedly told some police officers on Wednesday that "a man pushed" her mother off the balcony.

"We have moved an application before the judicial magistrate. The statements of the two girls will be recorded on Friday under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)," Kumar said.

Mukesh's family members, who live in Sadarpur village in Noida's Sector-45, said they didn't know that he had a double life because he was already married and has two children, aged eight and eleven.

He studied till Class X at a government school in Sadarpur where he first met Shweta. Mukesh worked for a computer dealer in Okhla.

"We have been married for 14 years and I have never heard of another woman or house. He used to come home from work by 7 pm every day," Mukesh's wife Saroj said.

Mukesh's father Hukum Singh admitted that the family had not gone to visit him in custody.

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