A 16-YEAR-OLD girl was stabbed multiple times and then bludgeoned to death allegedly by her 20-year-old boyfriend in full view of bystanders and pedestrians — not one among them alerted the police — on a street in Shahbad Dairy area of Delhi.
According to the police, accused Sahil Khan accosted the minor and stabbed her at least 20 times and then hit her with a concrete slab lying nearby until she died. The murder, which took place Sunday night, was caught by CCTV cameras.
The police said the 20-year-old accused and the girl, who completed class 10 this year, were in a “relationship,” and that the attack followed an argument between them.
Sahil, who fled after the murder, was arrested from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.
The murder touched off a political faceoff with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking to corner Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena over the law and order situation in the national capital while the BJP called it a “love jihad” case.
In a tweet, Kejriwal said, “A minor girl is brutally murdered openly in Delhi. This is very sad and unfortunate. The criminals have become fearless, there is no fear of the police. LG sir, law and order is your responsibility, do something. The safety of the people of Delhi is of paramount importance.”
Targeting the AAP leader, Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva said, “It is regrettable that the Chief Minister of Delhi is trying to portray the brutal killing as a law and order issue, whereas it is a case of love jihad…The arrested murderer Sahil Sarfaraz… is a member of the love jihad gang working in a well-planned manner.”
Police officers said Sahil, who was engaged in AC and fridge repair work, lived close to the girl’s house, and the two were in a relationship for a couple of years. Sources said the two got into a heated argument 3-4 days before the murder. “He suspected that she was talking to other men, and told her to stop. He even threatened her with a toy gun a few days ago… We are verifying all these allegations,” said an officer.
DCP (Outer North) Ravi Kumar Singh said that around 9.35 pm on Sunday, a police informer alerted them about the murder. Although the CCTV time stamp shows 8.45 pm, the police said there was a delay of 25-30 minutes in reporting the crime. “The time stamp of CCTV is not accurate. However, it has been confirmed that none of the bystanders or locals made a PCR call. The body was lying at the spot for 25-30 minutes. Our informer spotted her and called us,” said an officer.
“The police team reached the spot around 9.45 pm and enquired about the matter… we found the body of a 16-year-old girl on the street,” DCP Singh said.
“On Sunday, the girl was planning to attend her friend’s son’s birthday party. Her friend lived around a kilometre from her house. However, the accused Sahil intercepted her and stabbed her multiple times and hit her with a slab,” he said.
In the CCTV footage, the accused is seen cornering the victim against a wall and stabbing her and eventually thrashing her with the concrete slab lying nearby. He then walks away but returns to hit the girl on the head with the slab once again. Several passersby can be seen looking on, with one making a feeble attempt to stop Sahil but walking away after the latter shrugs him off.
According to a preliminary postmortem report, a police source said, apart from stab wounds on her head and chest, the girl suffered a fractured skull.
Police said the girl’s friend, whose son’s birthday she was going to attend, is a prime witness in the case.
The friend told the police that she and the girl went to the nearby market to buy items, including clothes and a cake, for the birthday and while returning, she told her that she was going to the nearby public washroom to freshen up.
“She had been living with me for the past 15 days as we were very close friends and she was very close to my children…she told me a few days back that she was in a relationship with Sahil and was having a fight with him but I did not ask further as it was her personal matter,” the friend said.
The mother of the victim, a worker at a steel factory, told The Indian Express: “She was staying at her friend’s place for the last 15 days and we did not know anything about Sahil…she mostly talked to her friends about him.” Her father, a worker at a tile company, said they wanted stringent punishment for the accused.
An officer said that the accused knew about the girl’s whereabouts and that she was returning from the market. “They were not on talking terms but the accused possibly got to know her whereabouts through her friends and common acquaintances… he waited there for sometime so that he could confront and assault the girl,” said the officer.
Another senior police officer said that Sahil is being brought back from Bulandshahr, his father Sarfaraz is being questioned. “We will recover the offence weapon and will seek two to three days’ custody to interrogate him,” said an officer.