In yet another case of alleged stalking that has come to light from Hyderabad, a 19-year-old woman was brutally murdered in public on Monday afternoon in the city's Yousufguda area.
The incident took place when the deceased, identified as Venkata Laxmi, was manning the counter at a bangle shop where she worked.
According to the police, Laxmi had joined the bangle store around two months ago and had earlier even complained to her employer that a man was harassing her.
The police said that on Monday, the assailant entered the store with a knife, picked up an argument with the victim, before slitting her throat and fleeing the place.
âThere was no sign of robbery and nothing was reported missing. We suspect that the assailant knew her,â DCP, West Zone, A R Srinivas told reporters.
The shop owner was out of the city and when she failed to contact Laxmi, felt that something might have gone wrong.
âThe shop owner could access CCTV feed on her phone. She noticed that the cameras were off and when Venkata Lakshmi did not answer the phone for a long time, she requested the victim's father to visit the shop,â Jubilee Hills inspector P Chandra Sekhar told a media outlet.
Following this, the victim's father found her in a pool of blood and called the police. The girl's father works as a watchman in a building in the area.
The Jubilee Hills police, under whose jurisdiction the crime took place, said that they registered a case and were involved in retrieving video footage of the crime from the CCTV camera installed in the shop.
A CLUES team was also dispatched at the spot to collect forensic evidence.
The accused has since been identified as Sagar, a driver, after Laxmi's parents said that he had been troubling their daughter for a long time.
Sagar and Laxmi met each other, when the latter was working as a maid for a short while, and the police said that the victim had rejected his advances repeatedly.
"We are suspecting Sagar behind the murder of my daughter. He has been harassing her for the last one year. Due to the harassment, she stopped working at Banjara Hills and joined the jewellery store for Rs 3,000 salary, as it is closer to our house,â the victim's mother told TNIE.
A case was booked under section 302 (Murder) of the IPC and an investigation is underway.
The city is no stranger to the menace of stalking and has witnessed several cases over the last few months.
Earlier this month, an alleged stalker attacked a 23-year-old nurse in Hyderabad with acid, for refusing his proposal.
In March this year, a stalker had set a minor girl on fire near Hyderabadâs Amberpet area following which the victim succumbed to her injuries at the state-run Gandhi Hospital.
In January, 24-year-old B Janaki, who was working as a saleswoman in a supermarket, was killed when her colleague stabbed her at her house in Moosapet. She was being harassed for weeks, after she rejected her colleague's proposal.
In December last year, 22-year-old Sandhya Rani was set on fire in full public view as she was returning home from work in the cityâs Lalaguda area, for refusing the advances of a stalker who was harassing her.