A savage axe attack in a Jawaharlal Nehru University classroom left a young woman student fighting for her life late on Wednesday. Her assailant, a spurned male classmate, killed himself by swallowing poison minutes after he tried to hack her to death.
23-year-old Aakash and victim Roshini Kumar Gupta (20) were both from Bihar and were third-year students of Korean. They had known each other for two years and Aakash is understood to have proposed marriage, which was summarily turned down by Roshini's father.
An argument broke out between them when they were sitting in the room with classmates in the morning.
Aakash pulled out a country-made pistol, an axe, a knife and a bottle of sulphas tablets from his backpack, and fired a couple of shots at his classmates, sending them scurrying out of the room and leaving Roshni at his mercy.
He then set about her with the axe, hacking her on the head, abdomen and hand. She fell to the ground, bathed in blood; then he swallowed a whole bottle of the poison pills and cut his throat.
Aakash was rushed to the AIIMS trauma centre, but had no chance, dying minutes after he got there. Roshini underwent surgery at Safdarjang Hospital and was still critical at the time of filing this report.
The JNU campus, best known for its left-wing politics and intellectual debate was left shell-shocked and trying to make sense of what led to the mayhem.
"Aakash was furious because Roshini's father had turned down his proposal of marriage," said one clasmate, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Police recovered a four-page suicide note written in Hindi from Aakash's backpack. In it, he said that he was feeling slighted by Roshini's indifference to him of late, and that his "ego was hurt". Sources said that he was driven over the edge by Roshini talking to other male classmates.
A case under section 302 (murder) and Arms Act has been registered at the Vasant Kunj North police station. The police have seized the weapons of offence, the suicide note and the mobile phones of both Aakash and Roshini.