A day after a freelance journalist was hit on the head with a brick at a park in Ashok Vihar, Delhi Police Friday arrested a 22-year-old who, they claim, had been stalking the woman for close to a month and was “obsessed” with her.
Aparna Kalra, 45, was out for a walk at the popular park, Picnic Hut, when she was attacked. She is currently undergoing treatment at Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh.
Joint Commissioner of Police (northern range) Rajesh Khurana told The Indian Express that the accused, Sanjay, lives at a JJ cluster in Sawan Park with his parents. Police said he is a school dropout and works at a nail polish manufacturing unit in Ashok Vihar. Police said he was taken into preventive arrest a year-and-a-half ago in connection with a scuffle but later let go.
“On sustained interrogation, the accused told police that he had been monitoring the woman’s activity for the last few weeks, and that he was obsessed with her. On Wednesday evening, he consumed liquor and then went to the park. He told police that after observing her for a few minutes, he approached her and tried to talk to her,” Khurana said.
Khurana claimed that when Kalra walked away from him, he attacked her. “He picked up a brick and hit her on the back of her head as she started walking away. After hitting her, he tried to drag her towards the bushes. But when she resisted, he got scared and fled, leaving her bleeding at the spot. We have recovered the brick and are trying to gather more evidence,” Khurana said.
Kalra, who suffered multiple injuries to her head, was found unconscious and bleeding from the head and nose. She was initially taken to Deep Chand Hospital, but after seeing the seriousness of her injuries, she was referred to Fortis Hospital. She regained consciousness for a few minutes late Wednesday night.
DCP Milind Dumbere said they went to speak to the woman on Friday, but her family asked them to return the next day.
Sources said that after registering an FIR, several teams of the northwest district police started door-to-door verification at colonies in the vicinity. “Police initially suspected that the crime was committed by vagabonds or drug addicts, and detained several persons. But the first breakthrough came after police started talking to locals who regularly visit the park in the evenings. Locals pointed police in Sanjay’s direction, saying that he had come to the park in an inebriated condition Wednesday. He was detained from his residence late Thursday night,” police sources said.
Police said he initially tried to mislead investigators, but they found bloodstains on trousers recovered from his home. After sustained interrogation, and when confronted with the evidence, he broke down.
“He said that he had first seen her last month, and that he observed her when she came for her walk. On Wednesday, he decided to talk to her. He attacked her in a fit of rage, after which he headed home and went to sleep,” police said.