The serpentine by-lane leading to a usually quiet two-storey house in Swarup Nagar's Indraprastha Colony echoed to the screams of "Do whatever you want to me, please just let him go," for hours after midnight on Sunday before a stifling silence descended on it around 3:30 am.
"All of us rushed to the house almost immediately, after we heard the first scream around midnight. But Om Prakash — Asha's uncle, told us to go away, saying it was a family matter and we had no right to interfere," said Kiran Devi (35), Om Prakash's neighbour.
Thereon, Kiran — like all of Prakash's other neighbours, were silent witnesses to recurring verbal abuse, mercy pleas and more guttural cries for help for four hours, after being told to mind their own business.
"Around 7 am, we saw that the house had been locked from outside and the family was missing," said Suraj Gupta (40), another resident.
"We realised what could have happened after we saw the boy's car — a red Maruti Suzuki Van, still parked outside the house." Meanwhile, a team from the local police station broke the news to an already anxious Renu Kumari (27), Yogesh's elder sister.
"I had told him not to risk meeting Asha's parents after her mother Maya asked me to keep Yogesh away from her. I don't know what came over me; I shouldn't have let him go last night," a shattered Renu said.
She said Yogesh had stormed off after receiving a call from Asha's mother around 9:30 pm on Sunday night.
"Maya called and asked him to reach Swarup Nagar so that they could sit down and discuss the way ahead. He just left his dinner unfinished and rushed to his death."
A school cab driver by profession, Yogesh had taken it up after both his parents died two years ago.
"Since he was too young to get a driver's licence, he took on many small time jobs to help me get married. He would contribute whatever he could to the household. He never gave up — neither on his ambition or on relationships."
Police said a case had been registered against Asha's family. "We have registered a case against Asha's family.
Her father, Suraj Saini and her uncle, Om Prakash have been arrested," said Karnal Singh, JCP (northern range).