It has been a week since 23-year-old air hostess Geetika Sharma was found dead in her house, but the Delhi Police still does not have a clue about where former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, the man accused of abetting her suicide, is hiding. Sources say Mr Kanda will move the Delhi High Court today for anticipatory bail. A relative of Mr Kanda has also been detained for questioning.
Six police teams have searched over 40 places in Delhi, Gurgaon, Sirsa and Siliguri, but have not been able to trace the former Minister of State for Home in the Haryana government.
Mr Kanda has been charged with abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation - his former employee, an air hostess named Geetika Sharma, hung herself at her home last Sunday. In a note found in her bedroom, she blamed him and a senior executive named Anuradha Chadha, who works for him. Ms Chadha, who is a senior manager at Mr Kanda's MDLR group, was sent to one day police custody, however, the police had asked for five day custody.
The police had told the court that it has recently recovered an e-mail written by Geetika to Ms Chadha where she had said, "I will build my career on my own... no matter how many obstacles one puts in my way." Additional public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan argued the e-mail goes to show that Geetika was being forced to join MDLR by Ms Chadha and that the word "one" refers to the prime accused, Mr Kanda.
In court, Mr Kanda's lawyers had described Geetika as "a hyper-sensitive girl" with "mixed emotions of love and hatred" for Mr Kanda. They said she acted "jilted."
However, Geetika's family says that in the days before she died, the politician called her repeatedly, blackmailing and threatening her. Hours before she hung herself, he also called her mother, claims her family.
From 2006 to 2009, Geetika flew with MDLR. When the company went under, she moved to the UAE to fly with Emirates Airlines. She returned to India in 2011 and joined another company owned by Mr Kanda, Super Sonic, which deals with cables. In May this year, she quit her job there because she wanted to study. Mr Kanda says his firm gave her 7.5 lakhs to enroll for an MBA.
Geetika's family alleges that when she was in the UAE, she was harassed and blackmailed by Mr Kanda and Ms Chadha to return to Delhi and work for him. Mr Kanda says the air hostess approached him for a job, not the other way around.
Before he went missing, Mr Kanda had told NDTV that he had not been in touch with Geetika for two months, which he planned to prove through cellphone records. However, the police have identified a man who worked for him who allegedly gave the former minister his SIM card, allowing Mr Kanda to call the air hostess from a number not registered as his own.