Delhi student murder: Police close in on stalker
Two days after 20-year-old Radhika Tanwar was shot dead outside her college in Delhi, the police are still trying to ascertain the identity of the killer, reports Sahim Salim
The Delhi police on Thursday said they have 'some specific leads' about the identity of the man who shot dead a young girl outside her college on Tuesday morning.
Claiming that several 'close friends' of the girl identified the sketch of the accused as a stalker who used to harass her three years ago, the police said that they are on the 'right track'.
The police had denied making any arrests so far.
"No arrests have been made so far. The television channels and media can report whatever they feel," Rajan Bhagat, public relations officer of the Delhi Police, said.
Radhika Tanwar, 20, was shot from behind at close quarters on a crowded foot over-bridge outside Ramlal Anand College in Delhi University's south campus in Dhaula Kuan. She was hit in the spinal cord, just below her neck, and died within minutes of being shot. After the shooting, confusion prevailed over the bridge, as the stunned passers-by failed to react and let the killer flee into the crowd.
With additional inputs from Onkar Singh
Image: The over-bridge where the shooting took place
'They positively identified him as the stalker'
On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), H G S Dhaliwal had said that the eyewitnesses in the case are not cooperating. He expressed dismay over the fact that even after repeated announcements, none of the eyewitnesses present at the crowded bridge at the time of the incident approached them with descriptions of the accused. The police had to rely on 'vague recollections' of three of Radhika's friends.
But on Thursday, a senior police official told rediff.com that some people had come forward to give details of the accused.
Dhaliwal told rediff.com, "Several friends and some close family members of the victim had intimated us about a man who used to stalk her some time ago. When we showed them the sketch of the accused, they positively identified him as the person who used to stalk her."
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women Chairman Girija Vyas has sought a report from Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta on the progress of the case and on the measures the police is taking to ensure that such incidents do not re-occur.
Delhi University Students' Union is planning to hold a major demonstration on Friday.
"We are taking out protest rally at 11 am to protest the inability of the Delhi Police in arresting the culprit, three days after Radhika was murdered," said a student leader.
Image: The sketch of the killer
'There was no police complaint'
Nobody knows the identity of the stalker though. He used to harass the victim while she was studying in class 12 at a government school in her village in Naraina. She complained about the boy to Aditya, one of her neighbours, who currently studies in the same college as the victim.
Aditya and two of his friends confronted the stalker three years ago and roughed him up. After that incident, the stalker had stopped harassing her.
"There was no police complaint about this. We are trying to ascertain the identity of this boy. The family or her friends do not know his address or even his name," DCP Dhaliwal said.
Police sources said that the stalker was not from the same village or school, as he was not spotted in the area after that.
There was no stalker, say parents
The police are questioning Aditya, who was accompanying Radhika on the day she was murdered. He had tried to chase the stalker as he fled the spot. According to the police, Aditya, who was Radhika's confidant, was "cooperating fully with the investigations".
"He may have more information about the stalker. So we are questioning him to get leads in the case. He knew about the earlier stalker as well," a senior police official said.
But Radhika's parents dismissed allegations that she had earlier been stalked.
Her father Rajendra Singh Tanwar told rediff.com, "There was no stalker, now or three years ago. The police are just making up these stories. If my daughter had a stalker, she would have told us about him. And you are telling me that a boy was beaten up in the village by some boys for stalking my daughter? Don't you think I would know about it if someone was beaten up in the village for stalking my daughter? Radhika never told us about any stalker."
'She was a brave kid'
But Singh admitted that his daughter was 'brave' and would have liked to deal with problems like these on her own.
"She was a brave kid, though. Actually, my daughter never complained about anything. She was very independent-minded. Not once did she complain about any kind of harassment in state-run buses, though it is a common thing for college girls to be harassed by men on buses. That was how my daughter was," he said.
Singh said that he wanted the killer to be arrested as soon as possible.
"When the Delhi chief minister visited us on Wednesday, she had said she would do everything in her power to catch the culprit as soon as possible. The police, however, do not have a suspect even 48 hours after the murder. They are not even sharing any kind of information with us. I just request them to bring our daughter's murderer to the book," he said.
Image: A video grab of Radhika's Id-card