Man bludgeons woman to death in broad daylight; murder weapon found, accused caught
A 28-year-old man was arrested for bludgeoning his 22-year-old cousin to death in a park in Delhi. The woman was stalked by the attacker, who killed her after she refused to marry him. The incident took place near a police station and was recorded by a passerby. The accused did not attempt to flee and was caught by the police. The incident has sparked outrage and raised concerns about the safety of women from stalkers.
A 28-year-old man was arrested on Friday after he publicly bludgeoned to death his 22-year-old cousin, a woman he was stalking, inside a park in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, merely 100m from a police station, police said.
The shocking murder, which took place at 11.50am at Vijay Mandal Park in Begumpur near Sri Aurobindo College in Malviya Nagar, transpired at a time when dozens of people were nearby, and again brought to the forefront the dangers faced by women from stalkers.
The attacker, Mohammad Irfan, went to the park with the victim — his cousin Nargis — and struck her around 40 times in a fit of rage with an iron rod after she refused to marry him, police officers aware of the investigation in the case said.
The aftermath of the crime was recorded by a passersby who later posted videos of the victim’s body covered in blood beneath a bench with the murder weapon still lying next to her.
The accused did not attempt to run away after the murder and waited near the crime scene for the police to arrive and nab him, investigators aware of the case said. “He was caught nearly 150m away from crime scene and appeared to exhibit no regret for what he had done,” said the police officer. The officer added that Irfan had carried the murder weapon with him to the park concealed in his shirt, indicating that it was likely a pre-planned conspiracy.
Passersby at the park, who heard the commotion, informed one of the three guards on duty at the time, who, in turn, called the cops. The popular park is frequented by children in the evenings, and walkers in the mornings.
The incident sparked outrage from women’s rights activists, and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the Centre over the law-and-order situation in the city.
Joint commissioner of police (south) Chinmoy Biswal said that the woman suffered multiple head injuries and was dead by the time police officers arrived at the scene. “The attacker, identified as 28-year-old Mohammad Irfan, is a resident of Sangam Vihar. While the victim, who completed her graduation from Delhi University’s Kamala Nehru College earlier this year, was taking shorthand coaching near Malviya Nagar, the accused was a delivery man in an online food ordering platform,” he said.
The victim and the accused were cousins and their mothers are siblings, JCP Biswal said.
“Their families belong to a place in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district. The two started talking over the phone in 2016 and would meet occasionally till 2019. In 2019, they started a relationship. The woman urged the accused, who was unemployed at the time, to do something to eke out a livelihood so that she could pursue the matter with her parents. In 2021, when the accused came to Delhi, he took a rented house near the victim’s house,” he said.
After initial rejection, Biswal said that family members of both sides agreed for their marriage. However, in 2022, the woman and her parents changed their minds and rejected Irfan’s proposal because they deemed he was not educationally qualified enough to be a match for her.
At this point, police officers said, Irfan started calling and stalking her, and finally managed to convince her to meet him at the park on Friday.
“Irfan revealed to the police that he met the victim at 10.35am in front of her shorthand coaching centre where she was taking coaching and asked her to come with him to the park,” Biswal said.
After she outrightly rejected his marriage proposal on Friday, Irfan lost his temper and started hitting her on the head and shoulder with the rod, the JCP said. “He kept hitting her till she fell unconscious and lost her life,” he said.
“A case of murder has been registered at the Malviya Nagar police station,” he added.
Reacting sharply to the incident, Kejriwal said that another daughter was brutally murdered in Delhi. “It is very sad. Law and order has become a serious issue in Delhi. We request the LG and the home minister to make the police a little active. The safety of the daughters of Delhi and the people of Delhi is very important,” he tweeted in Hindi.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to Delhi Police over the murder. The notice, issued to DCP South, asked for the copy of the FIR, details of the accused arrested in the matter, and a detailed action taken report. “Two incidents have happened in the past 24 hours in Delhi. A girl was shot dead in Dabri while another was beaten to death in Malviya Nagar. The murder of the girl in broad day light shows how unsafe women and girls are in the Capital. The law and order in the capital is in shambles...,” DCW chief Swati Maliwal said in reference to the Thursday murder where a 23-year-old man allegedly shot dead a 42-year-old woman outside her house Vaishali.
According to social activist Kavita Krishnan, there is a pattern to the brutal killings of women by stalkers or even their partners. “It is important to look at the pattern... whether it is a rape or a murder, we see that it is coming from the refusal to accept women’s agency,” she said, adding that while security is important, there should be emphasis on making it easier for women to come forward and file complaints and talk about stalkers and assault, and for people to take them seriously when they do.
With inputs from Ashna Butani