The Delhi Police are now confronted with another Herculean task in their already protracted investigations into the murder of 20-year-old Shobhit Modi - analyzing 78,000 calls that originated from mobile phones in the vicinity of the crime spot.
That apart, sources claimed that the second-year IT engineering student's call records have helped them ascertain that Shobhit had taken a round of his neighbourhood, blocks C1 and C2, immediately before he was stabbed to death.
"The nature of injuries inflicted on him has given us reason to suspect that at least three assailants were involved and that the crime took place aboard a moving vehicle, most probably a four wheeler," said a senior police officer investigating the incident.
Used to be driven around in a car, Shobhit would seldom, if ever, walk to his residence from the DLF Promenade Mall, which, according to his family, he used to visit at least thrice a week.
The missing call logs on his iPhone, the fact that Shobhit was usually dropped home by one of his friends after a visit to the said mall and, most importantly, the absence of blood on each route that he is presumed to have taken while on his way home on the fateful night have led investigators to suspect the role of one of his closest friends.
"Out of 43 of Shobhit's friends, we have shortlisted at least 12 who did not provide satisfactory answers during questioning. Investigations have also revealed that one of his friends, who resides in the same area, had changed as many as 36 cell phone numbers in the last 12 months," the officer said.
As per their investigations, the father of Shobhit's girlfriend, too, is found to have changed at least five cell phone numbers in the last year.
"We still maintain that his friend circle holds vital clues in this case and are working on leads based on empirical evidence. The leads are being investigated scientifically and, in the absence of conclusive evidence, no one can be implicated or held responsible," said Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (south).