A 23-year-old photographer was stabbed to death near his house in West Delhi after an altercation with four family members of a woman he was in a relationship with, police said. While the woman waited for the victim, Ankit Saxena, outside a metro station Thursday, her family confronted Saxena suspecting he had abducted her.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vijay Singh said the argument was over “Ankit Saxena’s alleged relationship with a 20-year-old woman from the minority community.”
According to police, the woman’s parents, her uncle and 16-year-old brother objected to the relationship and confronted Saxena Thursday afternoon and issued threats to stay away from her. The argument snowballed into a physical confrontation during which Saxena’s family was assaulted. Police said the woman’s father had slit Saxena’s throat with a knife and fled.
Tension spread in Raghubir Nagar after the murder as locals gathered outside Saxena’s house in large numbers. While Saxena’s mother wept surrounded by women in the locality, residents demanded swift justice as fears of communal tension heightened.
By Friday evening, police had deployed a commando unit and more than two dozen policemen. At every corner, BSF personnel were posted at strategic pickets near the house of the woman’s family, the funeral site and around Saxena’s house. Following the murder on Thursday, local residents had nabbed woman’s uncle and beat him up, while her father, mother and brother fled. Eyewitnesses said police reached the scene of the crime at least thirty minutes later.
“We were informed of the incident by the hospital after his body was taken there,” said DCP Vijay Singh. Police have arrested the woman’s parents and her uncle, who were remanded to 14 days judicial custody. The 16-year-old brother was apprehended and sent to a juvenile home, police said.
The police have said Saxena was a professional photographer and also worked part time as a sales marketing officer in the locality. It began on Thursday evening at around 8 pm, just as Saxena returned home after an errand. The woman’s parents, uncle and 16-year-old brother had waited outside a school near Saxena’s house. “I heard a commotion… I went outside and found that they (the woman’s family) had surrounded my son and were assaulting him. I called my husband and we rushed to his aid,” Kamlesh, Ankit’s mother, said.
Kamlesh, who had undergone surgery a few months ago, alleged that the woman’s family had rained punches on her chest and used verbal abuses. She claimed her husband, Yashpal, was also assaulted. “My husband is a heart patient and was in shock. All we could do was plead with them. They kept asking me where their daughter was,” Kamlesh said.
According to eyewitnesses, the woman’s family accused Saxena of abducting her and demanded her whereabouts. “Saxena tried to diffuse the tension and said they should go to the local police station to sort out the issue. However, the woman’s father whipped out a knife and slit his throat,” an eyewitness claimed.
Saxena’s family rushed him to Guru Gobind Singh Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. “I tried to stop the bleeding but my hand went through the wound,” his mother said. During questioning, the woman’s family allegedly told police their daughter went missing around 7:45 pm on Thursday which caused them believe Saxena had abducted the woman. However, police said the woman was waiting for Saxena at the Tagore Garden metro station.
She was informed by her friends that Saxena was murdered after which she rushed to her house, but sources said her friends convinced her to go to the Khyala police station. “We had made contact with one of the relatives of the woman. The woman’s uncle has agreed to take her home,” DCP Singh said.