NEW DELHI: Laxmi, a 28-year old mother of two, paid with her life for daring to stand up to her stalker. Two months after she had complained against a neighbour who had been harassing her for six years, the man stabbed her to death near her house in west Delhi’s Inderpuri, as the neighbourhood watched in horror.
Eyewitnesses said the accused, Sanjay Kumar, 26, after trying to slash Laxmi’s neck, chased her through the streets and stabbed her in the abdomen before committing suicide. The man had already slit his wrist before assaulting her. She died two days before her daughter’s birthday . After Laxmi’s complaint, Sanjay was arrested under sections of stalking, but was later released on bail. Police had filed a chargesheet against him in court and the case was pending trial. Laxmi’s family said even before the complaint, it had twice approached the police but the matter was resolved after Sanjay’s family gave the cops a written undertaking that he would not trouble her again.
Despite that, Laxmi’s husband Manoj Kumar said Sanjay and his brothers would often gather outside their house at F-block and create a ruckus in presence of their children, aged 11 and 7. Sanjay had often threatened Laxmi and her children. Manoj said Sanjay had been warned several times but he refused to back off. He would call Laxmi at least 10 times a day asking her to meet him.
Laxmi worked as a household help in the neighbourhood. Of late, she had started asking her sister-in-law, Sunita, to accompany her to work. On Sunday evening, Sunita left for home early , around 8.30pm. Family members said, finding her alone, Sanjay started following her.As she stopped at a grocery store to buy a packet of milk, he slit his wrist with a kitchen knife.
When Laxmi reached an abandoned park, Sanjay suddenly attacked her from behind, said witnesses who were too scared to come out and defend her. He tried to slit her throat but she escaped with a minor injury on her neck. Sanjay started chasing Laxmi, hurling abuses, and managed to catch hold of her outside the lane leading to her house. He plunged the knife into her abdomen and then stabbed himself.
Both Sanjay and Laxmi collapsed on the road. Laxmi kept calling for help as she lay on the ground.
One of the neighbours, who had heard her calls, said she lay on the ground for more than half an hour before police arrived.
“As we heard her calling for help, we went to our balcony and saw Sanjay running behind her. He was attacking her so fiercely that we didn’t have the courage to go out and help,” said Surender, a neighbour.
Surender said he informed the PCR after which both were rushed to a local hospital, where Laxmi was declared dead on arrival. Sanjay was referred to Safdurjung Hospital where he died on Monday morning.
Sanjay’s family said Lax mi had a relationship with Sanjay before she married Manoj, who worked as a carpenter. Her marriage with Sanjay was called off by Laxmi’s family as Sanjay was unemployed.
A case of murder has been registered and Sanjay’s family members have been detained for questioning. DCP south-west Surender Kumar said the family member would be arrested if they are found to be complicit in the crime.