A COUNTRY-MADE pistol used to kill 23-year-old software trainee engineer Anjali Rathour on Wednesday morning was procured by the accused to kill the person Rathour was allegedly in a relationship with, police said on Saturday. The accused, BBA graduate Ashwini Yadav (24), had also allegedly tried to kill himself with the same weapon after shooting Rathour.
“He had brought the country-made pistol from his village. During interrogation, Yadav admitted that he had thought of killing that person… When Rathour refused to tell him his name, he took out the pistol. On seeing the weapon, Rathour started running and eventually sat with her hands covering her head. Yadav followed her and pulled the trigger,” said Arun Kumar Singh, Gautam Buddha Nagar SP (City).
Yadav was arrested from his relative’s residence in Mainpuri district on Friday.
At 6.34 am on Wednesday, CCTV cameras on the ground floor of Shatabdi Rail Vihar Residential Society in Noida’s Sector 62 captured Rathour’s murder. The 20-second video footage shows a person being chased by another wearing a backpack, his arms outstretched. The incident takes place next to an elevator and a sedan. The person being chased takes cover, falls on the ground and is not visible since the attacker’s back is turned towards the camera.
“In the CCTV footage, which was not clear, it seemed like the attacker was using a phone to call someone. But in the interrogation, Yadav claimed that he wanted to use the same pistol to commit suicide. The bullet got stuck and he could not pull the trigger,” Singh said.
Rathour and Yadav came in touch with each other at Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar in September, 2012. While Yadav was pursuing BBA, Rathour was studying electronics and communication engineering. “He claims they became close friends in December, 2012. He failed in BBA first-year and, as a result, both graduated in 2016. Her course was for four years while his was for three years,” Singh said.
After graduating, Rathour joined a private firm as a trainee engineer while Yadav started working at a garment store in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar. In January this year, the store shut down and Yadav returned to his village in Etawah.
The night before she was shot dead, Rathour had meet Yadav on the ground floor of the housing society between 8 pm and 10 pm, police said. “After Yadav went back to his village, the victim was not keen on keeping in touch with him. Since January, they had had several conversations about this. In April, too, he came here a couple of times and they spoke over the phone. On May 30, the girl called him here and they had a long conversation. Finally, she asked him to let her think about it overnight,” Singh said.
Police investigation revealed that Rathour had called Yadav on Wednesday morning. “So far, we thought he had called her at 6.30 am but the victim called him at 6.05 am. Yadav entered the society at 6.30 am, called her to say that he had reached. At 6.34 am, the incident took place. The victim had turned him down,” Singh said.
Accompanied by a friend who had been waiting for him outside the society, Yadav had taken an auto-rickshaw to Anand Vihar. “When Yadav told his friend that he had killed the girl, his friend asked him to flee,” Singh said.