The Telegraph
Friday , August 2 , 2013

Axe attack after girl said ‘no’ 15 times


New Delhi/Gaya/Muzaffarpur, Aug. 1: Fifteen times he had proposed to her. And every time she had rebuffed him.

That was how the “one-sided” relationship limped on for the past month till yesterday, when JNU student Akash Kumar brought an axe into the classroom, hit Roshni Kumari Gupta repeatedly on her head and then took poison before slashing his own throat.

Akash, a third year student of Korean language at the university, who hailed from Gaya district, had even proposed marriage to classmate Roshni (22), whose home is in Muzaffarpur, two months ago.

The details of the 23-year-old young man’s “loveless” life emerged today after police scanned his four-page suicide note written in English and Hindi.

“She had spurned his romantic advances each time he proposed in the past one month. He was apparently depressed and disgusted with his life as the girl he loved refused to reciprocate his feelings,” deputy commissioner, Delhi (south), B.S. Jaiswal said.

Akash’s extreme step was a premeditated act, he added.

“Roshni, who suffered multiple injuries on her scalp, was operated upon again this morning. She is still critical and on ventilator in the ICU. There is movement in her eyes and hands,” said a police official.

“She has suffered four deep injuries in the skull. Blood vessels to her brain have been damaged. She has a major brain clot and her right wrist was badly slashed,” a doctor said.

In his purported suicide note, found in his backpack, Akash wrote: “We became good friends and later we were in a relationship. She was hiding many things from me for the past six months.” The police, however, say it was a one-sided affair. The girl was never interested in him and made it obvious to him several times, DCP Jaiswal said. “But he continued to harass her.”

The police learnt that the girl had lodged a sexual harassment complaint against Akash with the gender sensitisation department at JNU but withdrew it on their classmates’ intervention.

But a JNU teacher said he was not aware Roshni had ever approached the committee. In fact JNU’s gender sensitisation panel met today and formed a five-member committee to probe why the girl did not approach them.

Roshni’s parents arrived in Delhi from Muzaffarpur and elder brother Sudhir from Bangalore. “He used to harass her and keep on proposing to her but she always rejected his advances. She never told us about this. We have learnt about it from her friends,” Sudhir said.

Back in Mithanpura locality of Muzaffarpur district, Roshni’s other brother Sandip alleged that Akash used to call up their father and talk of marrying her.

“My father would just tell Akash and Roshni to concentrate on their studies. He never assumed something like this would happen,” he said.

Akash’s body was handed over to his family members, who came from Gaya, after post-mortem today. “The autopsy said he died of poisoning,” a police official said.

Roshni’s neighbours in Muzaffarpur district, around 80 north of Patna, were too shocked to react.

Mohini Sharma, who runs a boutique in Mithanpura, said the family of Roshni’s father Bhagwan Prasad Bajaj, a textile merchant, mostly remained indoors.

Bhola Rajak, who has worked as a washerman there for almost a decade, said the “very beautiful and well-mannered” Roshni had visited the village in May and was her usual sober self. “I never imagined this could happen to her,” he said.

Buniyadganj area of Madarpur village cannot believe that the Akash they knew — a sober guy who would not even speak harshly — could attack someone so fatally. They recalled him as a good student and a good painter and one who would take active part in village dramas and play volleyball.

The youngest of four brothers and a sister, Akash had even turned down marriage proposals, telling his parents that he wanted to settle down first.

Akash had last visited Madarpur in June to attend his cousin sister’s wedding and was in the village for over 25 days. “We didn’t notice anything awkward, neither did he mention anything about an affair with any girl,” his 65-year old father Shivbachan Singh said. “Not only that, Akash’s mother and I had stayed for around 10 days with him at his JNU hostel. He was with us most of the time and showed us around Delhi. He never mentioned anything about the girl,” Singh said.

During his last visit, Akash had told his childhood friend Ritesh Kumar Singh that he had been selected for a six-month training in Korea, beginning in August.

Ritesh, who is pursuing mining engineering in Angul district of Odisha, recalled Akash as a sober boy who sketched well. BK Singh, a teacher at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, in Jethian block of Gaya district, where Akash studied, remembered him as a very meritorious student. From there, he took admission in Korean language course at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. After doing a year, he cleared the entrance for a similar course at JNU. He had completed five of six semesters there.

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