Two days after 32-year-old Asma Javed, an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumna, was found dead in her flat, Uttar Pradesh police on Friday arrested her friend Javed Ul Hasan on the charge of murdering her. Hasan was produced before a magistrated court and remanded to judicial custody.
Police said Hasan, a property dealer, and Asma knew each other for over a year and had physical relations.
“Hasan confessed to the killing after we questioned him at length. We arrested him on Thursday night. He said he objected to her being in contact with some people. They had a verbal spat which escalated and he strangled her. He said he did not mean to kill her,” said DIG Govind Agarwal.
He said that on May 13, when Asma’s body was found in a rented flat of Al Hamd building near the AMU campus, her tablet was missing from the apartment. “The phone was recovered after the accused told us that he put it in a plastic bag and hid it in some shrubs near Naqbi Park,” Agarwal said.
Police said that on May 8 Hasan and Asma argued when the former tried to look through her tablet. She threw the tablet on the floor and it cracked. The same evening, when Asma returned from Hathras, where she was pursuing a basic teachers’ certificate course, Hasan met her at the bus stand and took her home on his bike. After coming home, they had another showdown that ended with Hasan strangling her, police said. Police said that after strangling Asma, Hasan locked the flat from outside and threw her tablet, two SIM cards and keys to the flat in the shrubbery.
He later used Asma’s ATM card to withdraw Rs 55,000 in all between May 8 and May 12.
Police also claimed that Hasan had told them that he used Asma to extort money from a Aligarh hotel owner.
The hotel owner allegedly lied to Asma that he was unmarried. He promised to marry Asma and the two developed physical relations. When Asma came to know about his marriage, she filed a rape complaint with the police, but later retracted. Police said Hasan asked her to arrive at a settlement with the hotel owner as he came from a wealthy family and would pay a good amount to settle the complaint.
Hasan had plans to marry Asma once she received the money, police said. However, the amount was not as hefty as he had expected and Asma’s father took the sum.
An active student leader in her AMU days, Asma completed her PhD in 2013. She had staged a campus protest in 2006 against a professor accused of sexual harassment. In 2011, she was the only woman to run for the president post in the varsity’s students’ union polls.
Her brother Salman had lodged a missing complaint with Civil Lines police station in Aligarh on May 12 after her phone could not be reached for four days. A day later, police broke open her flat after neighbours complained of foul smell and found her dead.