Bhopal: A suspected stalker pulled a college student out of a crowded bus in eastern Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district and stabbed her to death in full view of co-passengers, police said on Saturday.
Sanju Singh of a Rewa college was on her way home in Sidhi’s Kusumi area for Diwali when the 19-year-old tribal was attacked on Friday evening.
The accused fled the spot near Gotara market, 600 km from Bhopal. Identified as 23-year-old Shivendra Singh Parihar, he boarded the bus from Bhadaura. Passengers said he was carrying a can of petrol.
The murder triggered protests in the market till Saturday evening. Residents blocked the road, while tribals gathered outside Sidhi district hospital, claiming the girl’s autopsy was done without the family’s consent. Twice, the police used mild force to disperse them.
A passenger in the bus said Shivendra sat behind the girl, who initially sought to hide, and started troubling her. Passengers intervened and shifted Sanju to another seat.
The man asked the driver to stop the bus, and poured petrol on the girl, besides the driver and fellow passengers. He then pulled the girl by hair out of the vehicle and stabbed Sanju 18 times, killing her on the spot, police said.
The bus conductor Ashok Gupta and a co-passenger seated next to the girl, too, were injured.
The accused fled, following which the passengers of the bus alerted authorities. By the time the Dial-100 service reached, Sanju was dead. The girl, who was going to her native Barwahi village, was doing BSc in Girls PG College at Rewa — 420 km northeast of Bhopal.
“Primary investigations suggest the accused knew the girl well and could have been stalking her,” Sidhi superintendent of police Abid Khan said. “The crime was obviously pre-planned.”
According to police sources, cops are investigating if the girl had an affair with Shivendra—and if she left him. The man is accused in a 2008 case of assault lodged at Kusumi police station.
“Shivendra has been booked under the IPC, besides provisions of Arms Act and Atrocities against SC/ST Act,” Sidhi SP Abid Khan told HT. “Four teams are searching for him.”
The National Crime Records Bureau says Madhya Pradesh last year reported 1,124 cases of stalking — almost a fifth of such incidents across India.