Friday, March 11, 2011

Neighbour whom Radhika slapped is prime suspect

NEW DELHI: Delhi Police are close to a breakthrough in the Radhika Tanwar murder casewith a youth from her neighbourhood, with whom she had developed strained relations, emerging as the prime suspect. He had been reportedly slapped by the 20-year-old student of Ram Lal Anand College two weeks back for harassing her. The same day her family members are alleged to have thrashed him. Police sources believe the motive for the crime could be avenging this humiliation. 

The police have detained another youth, also a resident of Naraina, from the Lodhi Colony area for allegedly helping the suspect. Their names are being withheld by TOI till they are formally accused of the crime by the cops. 

Radhika, a resident of Naraina, had been shot dead on a foot overbridge outside Ram Lal Anand College near Dhaula Kuan on Tuesday morning by an unidentified person. The assailant had escaped quite easily and apparently there was some delay in rushing Radhika to hospital. This has led to widespread outrage and students have been holding protests since then with political parties and MPs too joining in condemning the police. This has put the force under tremendous pressure. 

The youth has been detained and is being interrogated by the south district police. Officials confirmed that his face matches the portrait made by experts after the murder. 

"Some friends and close family members have told us that the suspect's sketch matches with the person who had stalked her some time back. They were aware of an incident which happened some time back," H G S Dhaliwal, DCP (South), told TOI. "They have told us that the portrait largely resembles the person who was involved in the incident." 

He added that the sketch was prepared on the basis of vague recollections of three persons who saw the attacker running away. "Nobody has seen him from the front...We are verifying it." Police sources, however, said that Radhika's friends had given valuable inputs for the sketch. 

The sources said the youth was trailing Radhika for the past few days continuously and harassing her. "Some friends of Radhika have come forward and identified the man from the sketches we had released. They have told us that she had complained to them about him earlier. We are interrogating him,'' confirmed a source. 

The police got the breakthrough after a friend of Radhika, who is from Ram Lal Anand College, told them about the fight between her and this person. Refusing to be named, he told TOI: "She used to know the guy and was friendly with him. He stayed in her neighbourhood but was studying in a different college. Then they had a falling out a while back. Fifteen days ago they had a violent argument after which we had learnt that Radhika's family had thrashed him. He was said to be jealous of her other friends and she would complain to us that she was often being followed by him. She had, in fact, told him publicly to stay away from her. We recognized him from the sketch released by the police and are helping them". 

Some other friends of Radhika, who too wished to remain anonymous, said they were afraid that they would be targeted and were hence keeping quiet. "In fact, this guy had turned up at an amusement park a few days back unannounced and Radhika had an argument with him,'' said one of the friends. 

"We are working on the case right now and we have leads,'' said a tightlipped Dhaliwal. He said the incident of stalking had not been reported to the police. "There is no documentation of the incident as it was not reported to the police. Usually in such incidents people do not approach the police," he said.

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