Nikki Yadav, the 24-year-old who was killed allegedly by her live-in partner Sahil Gehlot (24), had been in a relationship with the accused for more than five years, said police. The couple met soon after their class 12 exams and started dating without telling their families, police added.
The two first met on a bus en route Dwarka in January 2018, when Gehlot was preparing for SSC exams and Yadav was preparing for medical entrance exams, with both taking coaching in Uttam Nagar.
Police said that they would meet before and after classes every day. Though the two didn’t clear competitive exams, they started living together in Greater Noida.
“Gehlot and Yadav had taken admission in Galgotia College. While he was studying pharmacy, she was pursuing bachelor’s in English. They often took short trips around Manali, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun,” said Special CP (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.
During the lockdown, the two were called back to their homes.
They met again after the lockdown and shifted to a rented house in Delhi’s Dwarka.
According to police, while Yadav told a few of her relatives about the relationship, Gehlot was more secretive.
Their families didn’t know about the live-in relationship, police added.
“Gehlot never informed his family about the relationship. Last year, they started asking him about his marriage plans. We suspect he might have told them about Yadav but they didn’t agree,” said an officer.
He gave in to their demands and the family found a bride for him in December 2022. The marriage was fixed but Gehlot didn’t break up with Yadav, said an officer, adding that following a fight over his lying, he allegedly decided to kill her and dumped her body.
The family grew suspicious and, according to Nikki’s father, Sahil’s father was the one who eventually told them that their daughter is dead, and that his son had surrendered before the police. While senior police officers said a secret informer had told them about Nikki going missing, sources said it was Sahil’s father who reached out to the police.
Sitting on a charpoy in the verandah of his house at Jhajjar’s Kheri Khummar village on Wednesday evening, Nikki’s father Sunil Dutt, said that his wife had spoken to their daughter on Thursday evening.
“After my daughter’s phone was found switched off on Friday and Saturday, we got worried. It was unusual because she always calls back immediately or leaves a message. On Saturday, we called our younger daughter but she was also clueless. We started calling all her friends. My daughter then got Sahil’s number and told us he knows about her,” said Dutt.
“He told me that Nikki had gone on a trip with her friends and left her mobile phone with him as it did not have balance/recharge. He kept changing the locations and his statements – on one call he said she is in Dehradun and on another he mentioned Rishikesh. He said he could not join them for the trip as he was getting married,” said Dutt.
“On Sunday, he stopped answering our calls. The next morning, he called saying that he had to go somewhere during the night and that my daughter would return on Monday. Then, I got suspicious and asked my younger daughter to arrange Sahil’s parents’ contact,” he said. “His father picked up the call but said they are busy with the wedding. In the evening, his father told me that something wrong had happened. He said that they have handed him (Sahil) over to the police after he confessed to killing her. I was confused but the police called me after some time,” said Dutt.
Nikki’s family said they only knew of Sahil as someone in her college friends circle.
According to police, the accused killed her late night on February 9, before stuffing her body inside a fridge owner by his family in Dwarka.
The accused’s father works at a gas company.
The woman is survived by her parents and a brother and a sister. Her father runs a garage in Gurgaon.