Less than a month before she was stabbed to death, Madhuri Devi (45) had filed a complaint at outer Delhi’s Nangloi police station about being “harassed and blackmailed by the contractor of a shoe factory” where she worked. On Wednesday evening, as she stood on the steps of her house in Nangloi, contractor Shyam Yadav allegedly stabbed her five times, in front of her 12-year-old daughter.
On Thursday morning, Yadav was arrested and a case under IPC section 302 (murder) registered against him. A police officer said Devi had resisted the accused’s advances, so he began harassing her at work, on the phone, and near her house.
In the letter dated January 10, addressed to the SHO of Nangloi police station, the mother of five wrote: “He has paid me only Rs 500 for working at the factory for three months. When I ask him for money, he threatens me with dire consequences and uses abusive language. He keeps asking me to come meet him alone if I want my money. When I told him that I will complain to the police, he said he will kidnap me.”
Additional DCP (Outer) Rajendra Singh Sagar said: “We have come to know about this complaint now and will conduct an inquiry. If any negligence on part of a police officer is found, action will be taken.”
According to police, on January 8, they received a hoax call from Yadav’s phone, which is registered under Devi’s name, and the two were brought to the police station. “They levelled allegations against each other. A compromise was brokered and they were let off,” said a police officer.
Additional DCP Sagar claimed that while working out the murder, “no other information was available regarding the accused except his name”.
The complaint by Devi, however, mentioned the accused’s phone number. Her family also claimed that the accused was apprehended by police after the complaint. “When we went to the police station on January 10, a police officer called up Yadav in front of us and asked him to mend his ways. They even apprehended him, and he was in the lock-up for two-three days. If they had not let him out this easily, my sister would have still been alive,” alleged Nilambar Kumar Mishra, the victim’s brother.
He claimed that after filing the complaint, Devi quit her job.