On Sunday evening, a 25-year-old woman was shot dead in public view by an allegedly drunk man after a protracted and loud argument at the crowded Sarai Kale Khan bus terminus in south Delhi. Just across the road from where the woman, Pooja, was killed is a police booth, but no cop tried to help her until after she had been shot.
The incident underscored that despite many assurances, the national capital remains as unsafe as it was two months ago, when a medical student was gang-raped and tortured by six men on a moving bus, also on a Sunday evening.
Eyewitnesses say at about 8 pm yesterday, the woman, Pooja, her husband and her friend,
Kiran, were accosted by two men on a motorcycle; the police say the men were known to her.
According to the police, one of the men was forcibly trying to take
the victim's friend, Kiran, with him and when Pooja intervened, he
allegedly pulled out a gun and shot her in the face and head thrice,
at point blank range. She was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), but died on the way.
"I was waiting for someone. These two people were having an argument for quite some time. I heard a gunshot and when I turned, the girl was on the ground and screaming. We caught one of them right there," said a bystander, Rakesh Kumar.
The police claims it moved in swiftly to nab one of the accused, a man named Munshi Yadav. But eyewitnesses say it was people around who caught him and handed him to the traffic police. A country-made gun and bullets were recovered from him. The other man escaped. The police have alleged that both men were drunk.
The Sarai Kale Khan bus depot has 250 to 300 people at any time. The woman was shot dead right along a main road, a spot clearly visible from the police post across the road. Also, police control room vans or PCRs were reportedly stationed only some distance away. There is an alert in the Capital after the Hyderabad blasts on Thursday and there is heavy police patrolling in areas like the bus depot.
The Delhi Police, which drew huge flak after 23-year-old Amanat (NOT her real name) was brutally gang-raped in the capital on a moving bus on December 16 last year, has repeatedly promised that it has taken steps to ensure better security in the capital. But Dehi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit went on record earlier this month to say the city remains unsafe for women.