55-yr-old woman raped, killed in Delhi amid protests over Hyderabad case
On Saturday, a day when Delhi students took to the streets to protest the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad on Wednesday, a 55-year-old woman was raped and murdered in north Delhi’s Gulabi Bagh.
Police said the woman lived alone, in a one-room shop, from where she used to sell material used for puja. According to investigators, on Saturday morning, a 75-year-old man, who used to visit the woman every day, arrived at her shop and found the door opened.
Finding it unusual, the man went inside and saw the woman lying unconscious on the floor. He rushed out and alerted the area residents who then reported the matter to the police.
A police team rushed to the spot and found her on the floor, her clothes in disarray. They took her to a hospital where the doctors pronounced her dead. A medical examination, prior to the autopsy, confirmed sexual assault, police said.
An investigator, who did not wish to be named, said the preliminary probe revealed that the woman was not married and lived alone in the shop. She used a public toilet nearby and had no one attending to her or checking on her, except for the elderly man who called on her every day, he said.
Police quickly launched an investigation and used the CCTV camera footage and information collected from neighbours to zero in on the suspect, a 22-year-old roadside vendor from the area. Police said in the CCTV footage, he was the person last seen leaving the woman’s one-room shop.
Deputy commissioner of police (north) Monika Bhardwaj said the man was detained for questioning during which he admitted to having killed the woman by strangulating her with a dupatta.
“He also admitted that he had raped her before killing her. He was booked under the Indian Penal Code sections 376 (rape) and 302 (murder) and arrested,” the DCP said.
According to Delhi Police data, rape cases in the national capital had declined marginally— it fell from 2,199 in 2015 to 2,135 in 2018. However, in 2019 (till November 15), 1,947 cases have already been reported. This exceeds the figure of 1,921 reported during the same period (from January to November 15) in 2018.
Many women feel that Delhi is still unsafe for women, especially after dusk. Several working professionals said the police need to increase late night patrolling and revive beat policing to curb crimes against women.