As if his conspicuous eagerness to face the media wasn’t jarring enough, Umed rushed out to welcome Mulayam Singh— fawning, playing tour-guide at the murder site where his wife’s blood still hadn’t dried, hollering out to eye-witnesses and recounting facts for Mulayam’s benefit. Before long, even the most sympathetically disposed were whispering astonishment at Umed’s concern for bytes over bereavement.
If husbands of murdered women make for the usual suspects, Umed’s credentials seem to be tailored for the slot. He was cut out of Phoolan’s latest will, according to her lawyer Kamini Jaiswal. Reportedly threatened with divorce four times by her since 1993, Umed’s drinking and his loud-mouth disposition had the couple fighting often. A fact corroborated by their Chittaranjan Park neighbours. In 1995, says Phoolan’s nephew Santosh who lived with the couple, Phoolan had filed an fir at the Kalkaji police station charging Umed with assault.
Quite bitter with him she was. Phoolan’s family adds to the incriminating evidence. Phoolan’s mother Mulla Devi accuses him of turning Phoolan against her. Disapproval shows on sister Muni’s face at the mere mention of her brother-in-law: "Umed was fortunate to have even known Phoolan, she was too great to be tied to an ordinary man like him for long."
Ironically, Phoolan’s marriage to Umed had been arranged by her family, fixed by uncle Harful Singh, owner of a ration...