The murder of a 23-year-old amateur photographer in Khyala has triggered communal tension in West Delhi. Ankit Saxena, who also worked part-time as a sales marketing officer, was attacked by the family of a woman he was allegedly in a relationship with. During the scuffle, the woman’s father allegedly whipped out a knife and slit Saxena’s throat.
To avert any further untoward incident in the area, armed paramilitary personnel and Delhi police commando units took positions in and around the lanes leading to the residences of Saxena and the woman.
The woman’s father, mother and uncle have been arrested and her brother was sent to a juvenile home in connection with the case.
Here is a timeline of the events which took place on Thursday:
During the course of the investigation, police learnt that a fight broke out between the parents and the 20-year-old woman over her relationship with Ankit after her younger brother discovered some intimate messages on her mobile phone.
The girl’s father picked up a stick to thrash his daughter but was stopped by the mother. He vowed to get her married to someone else soon.
The next day, at 07:50 pm, the girl locked her parents from outside and left the house. Vijay Kumar (DCP, west) said she left for Tagore Garden metro station and asked Ankit to pick her up from the metro station.
However, the girl’s family managed to open the door and rushed to Ankit’s house, which was a few metres away. The woman’s father, brother and uncle confronted Saxena outside his house and accused him of abducting her and demanded him to reveal her whereabouts. The argument snowballed into a physical confrontation and the woman’s father slit Saxena’s throat with a knife and fled.
“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.
The woman’s family also allegedly thrashed Ankit’s mother Kamlesh when the latter tried to save her son during the fight. “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 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.
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. Eyewitnesses say police arrived at the scene of the crime at least thirty minutes later.
Tension spread in Raghubir Nagar after the murder as locals gathered outside Saxena’s house in large numbers.
By Friday evening, police deployed a commando unit and more than two dozen policemen. At every corner, BSF personnel are posted at strategic pickets near the house of the woman’s family, the funeral site and around Saxena’s house.
Local residents later managed to nab the woman’s uncle and beat him up, while her father, mother and brother escaped.
Police managed to trace and arrest the woman’s parents and her brother and sent them to a 14-day judicial custody. The minor was sent to a juvenile home.
During questioning, the woman’s family alleged their daughter went missing around 7:45 pm on Thursday which led them to believe Saxena had abducted the woman. However, police said the woman was waiting for Saxena at the Tagore Garden metro station.
The accused told police that they were against their relationship.
Police registered a murder case at Khyala Police station and has begun interrogating the accused.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday vowed to provide the best of lawyers to Ankit’s family and ensure maximum punishment for the culprits.