Wednesday wasn’t a usual day at Navkunj Apartments, a middle-class locality in IP Extension. The festivities of a wedding function in the compound could not erase the memory of the brutal murder that happened 12 years ago in a fourth floor flat of the complex.
On January 23, 1999, Shivani Bhatnagar, a journalist with Indian Express, had been found murdered in her flat here. Her neck and abdomen bore stab injuries. The police also recovered an electrical wire which suggested she had been strangulated before being stabbed.Her four-month old son who had been in the house, however, was unharmed. Police said the entry to the house was friendly but the killers had ransacked the house to make it look like a robbery attempt.
While describing sequence of events, the police had said that the killers had attacked her from behind and stabbed her by kitchen knives. “Two cups of tea, a box of sweets and biscuits were recovered from the crime scene. There was enough evidence to suggest she knew the killers. We also knew they were two in number,” a cop had said.
It was Shivani’s husband Rakesh’s brother-in-law who had found something fishy around 5:30pm. He had called Shivani’s husband and together, they forced open the door and saw Shivani lying in a pool of blood.
Doctors had reported that there was a deep incision in the left side of her throat that had been fatal. There were two other stab wounds in her abdomen while an iron skillet had been used to batter her chest.
“The Bhatnagars had come here as tenants. The flat remained vacant till 2003 when it was sold by the owners,” said a resident of Navkunj Apartments.
(with inputs from Rajat Arora)