Chennai: Techie held in Swathi murder case, attempts suicide after arrest

Chennai: An engineering graduate was arrested in connection with the sensational murder of a 24-year-old woman IT professional at a railway station here last week and allegedly attempted suicide when surrounded by the police.

Ram Kumar was apprehended on Friday in his native Tirunelveli district in south Tamil Nadu by police, which had been pulled by the Madras high court earlier over its handling of the case.

He allegedly attempted suicide when police went to arrest him. He is undergoing treatment at a government hospital, police said.

Kumar was staying near victim Swathi’s residence in Choolaimedu area here and had stalked her for months before allegedly murdering her with a sickle at the Nungambakkam railway station on June 24, they said.

Police late last night announced the arrest of the murder suspect, a native of Shencottah in Tirunelveli district. The motive of the killing was being investigated, police said.

Swathi, employed with software giant Infosys, was hacked to death around 6.30 am on June 24 while waiting to board a train to her work place on the city outskirts.

Pulling up the police for leaving her body for nearly two hours at the platform, the Madras high court had warned of suo motu intervention if there was slackness in the probe.

The case was transferred from railway police to the city police, which formed several special teams for the probe headed by an assistant commissioner.

With no CCTV camera in the railway station, police faced a tough job in obtaining clues and managed to get visuals of a man, suspected to be the assailant, from a CCTV installed at a house in the neighbourhood. They had also released the footage and also a sketch of the suspect.

A report from Tirunelveli quoting a top official of the local Medical College Hospital, where Kumar is being treated, said he is out of danger. Hospital Dean Sithi Athyia Munavara told reporters that Kumar was brought with a bleeding injury in his neck and in a semi conscious state around 1.40 am.

An emergency medical team immediately treated him and carried out a 45-minute long procedure at the operation theatre during which 16 stitches were made.

The man was later shifted to a ward in “good condition” and doctors are treating him, she said.

It would take seven days for the wound to heal and it would be difficult for him to speak for the next two days.

Police said a special police team from Chennai along with local police personnel surrounded Ram Kumar’s house in Meenakshipuram village late last night.

On seeing the police personnel, the accused, who was sleeping in a shed in front of the house, ran inside and inflicted an injury in his throat region with a blade.

Police rushed him to the government hospital in Tenkasi and after first aid shifted him to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital.