With dozens of people watching, a 21-year-old woman was killed on Tuesday morning after a 34-year-old man who had been stalking her for more than a year stabbed her at least 22 times with a pair of scissors. The accused also took photos of the body after the incident, which was captured on CCTV camera.
While nobody managed to stop the assault, which took place in a residential area in outer Delhi’s Burari, police said the accused was arrested after people subdued him afterwards.
The victim, Karuna, a school teacher, is the third woman to have been attacked by a stalker in the capital in the last 48 hours. A 25-year-old beautician was thrown off a building in Mongolpuri Monday night and is in a critical condition, while a 28-year-old was stabbed at least 10 times and killed in Inderpuri Sunday night.
The Centre has sought a report from the Delhi Police over Tuesday’s incident. “We have sought a fact report from the Delhi Police Commissioner. What happened is very sad,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters.
Preliminary investigations suggested that the accused, Aditya Malik alias Surender Singh, son of a retired police officer, had stalked Karuna for more than 18 months after she refused to marry him.
In the CCTV footage, Aditya is seen repeatedly stabbing Karuna on the torso while dragging her on the road. The footage also shows several people stop and stare before fleeing the spot. After being stabbed about a dozen times, Karuna falls and a passerby tries to intervene, but is driven away by Aditya, who continues to stab her motionless body.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (north district) Madhur Verma said, “The accused had been troubling the victim for at least one year. He committed the brazen attack when the victim was heading towards the Novel Reaches School, where she had been working as a teacher for the last four months. There were 22 stab wounds on her body. She was declared brought dead at Sushruta Trauma Center.”
Verma said Aditya was eventually caught by people, who beat him up. He is currently recuperating in Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital under police guard. “During initial questioning, the accused claimed that he was involved with the victim, and was angered after he saw some pictures of her, which she had sent to another man,” said Verma.
According to Karuna’s younger brother, Manish, Aditya stayed in the same neighbourhood and ran a computer coaching centre, where Karuna trained. “Malik stayed in the Sant Nagar locality around one-and-a-half years ago and my sister took computer classes at a training centre he owned. He fell for her and started stalking her. Initially we tried to avoid him, but after some time, about six months ago, we lodged a complaint against him. After an assurances by the police, both families reached a compromise and Aditya stopped stalking her,” said Manish.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the incident raised several concerns. “I have seen the video and people are standing as mute spectators. One or two people tried to come forward but no one helped finally. We have to introspect as a society. Criminals do not have fear of the police; Delhi Police is spending all its time chasing AAP MLAs,” he said.