A 24-year-old IT professional working for Indian software giant Infosys was killed by an unknown man in broad daylight in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Friday morning. According to the Indian Express, the victim, identified as Swathi S, died of horrific injuries after the man used a sickle to attack her. According to eyewitnesses, Swathi received multiple blows to her face and neck before she collapsed onto the railway platform, in a pool of blood. Before onlookers could do anything, the attacker was able to escape. The motive behind the crime is still being investigated.
According to the Deccan Herald, the horrific incident happened at around 6:45 a.m. local time at Nungambakkam Railway station, a suburb of Chennai city. Swathi was on her way to work to her office situated near the outskirts of the city. Family members add that minutes before she was killed, her father had dropped her at the station. Investigators now believe that the man who attacked Swathi was either known to her or was following her for the past few days. Eyewitnesses say that Swathi had a brief argument with the man after which he drew out the sickle from his backpack and attacked Swathi.
She was hit multiple times on her face and neck. The platform was full of morning commuters, several of whom later said that they knew Swathi as a daily commuter on the morning train they used to take. They add that most of the people were simply too shocked to react as everything happened very quickly.
Meanwhile, several other reports add that even as Swathi was being attacked, other commuters did not come forward to help her. Even after the attacker had left, many commuters chose to ignore the grievously injured Swathi and simply hopped onboard the train to their workplace. Even more disturbing was the attitude of the railway police who, according to reports, let the body of the woman lie at the same spot for over two hours. It also remains unclear if anyone called emergency services for help. Swathi’s body was eventually taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. After an autopsy, her body was handed over to her devastated family.
Swathi’s employer Infosys issued a statement in which the company described the incident as “unfortunate”. The statement read,
“We are saddened by the unfortunate incident that has led to the demise of our employee in Chennai. We are working with the local authorities as they investigate the matter and will continue to provide our co-operation and support. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family of the deceased. Infosys will provide all the necessary support to the family in their hour of grief.”
Hours after her death, Swathi’s brutal killing was a topic of discussion on social media websites.
Meanwhile, after officials started an investigation, it was revealed that the Nungambakkam railway station, where the incident happened, did not have surveillance cameras in place. This has made the search for the suspect a difficult job. However, a few hours later, a short surveillance camera video clip from a neighboring area was released showing a man walking away briskly. This is believed to be the same man that attacked Swathi. The local police is seeking help from locals to identify the man in the video.
The brutal killing of Swathi in broad daylight has once again, raised questions regarding the safety of women in India. The city where this incident happened, Chennai, is known to have very good safety record as far as crime against women go. Many locals are worried if incidents like these are on a steady rise in the city.