Schoolgirl strangled to death by 19-year-old senior who ‘objected to her talking to other boys’

New Delhi:

A Class XII student was choked to death, allegedly by her former school senior, in Rohini’s Sector 17 on Wednesday night, police said. The victim, Shreya Sharma (17), studied at Titiksha Public School in Rohini and had gone for tuition classes on Wednesday evening. She was found dead in a narrow lane near her house the next morning.

Police managed to track her body when they picked up Sarthak Kapoor, 19, from his house in Rohini’s Sector 11 and questioned him. After the accused made several inconsistent statements, police mounted pressure, following which he confessed to killing the girl, saying that he grew jealous of her talking to other boys in the locality.

DCP (Rohini) Rishi Pal said police have registered a case of murder and kidnapping at K N Katju Marg police station.

Shreya used to live with her father, Yogesh Sharma, an assistant manager with The Delhi State Corporation Bank, her mother Lalita Sharma, a therapist working at a naturopathy hospital in Rohini, and her younger brother Karthik at Sri Niketan Kunj apartments in Sector 17.

She had been pursuing science and had left her house saying she was going to attend a tuition class. “My daughter used to come back by 8 pm. That day, when she did not return, we kept calling her cellphone but there was no response. Fifteen minutes later, her phone was switched off,” said Yogesh Sharma.

The family did not inform police and instead called up the parents of the accused. Sarthak had, in the meantime, got in touch with Shreya’s parents and also roped in four of his friends who made alibis for him, police said. He later joined the search for Shreya along with her family, and when she remained untraceable, the police were contacted.

FAMILY REMEMBERS SHREYA AS A STUDIOUS GIRL

A teenage girl strangled a day earlier in Rohini was cremated here on Thursday afternoon amid tearful remembrances by kin and neighbours of the studious girl who had won academic laurels.

As Shreya Sharma’s pyre was lit, her mother Lalitha cried out loud near the crematorium’s gate. “Don’t burn her, she will feel the heat. It will hurt her. Don’t burn her.”

Shreya, 17, was strangled on Wednesday evening by a man known to her in a narrow lane hardly 200 metres from her two-bedroom flat in Rohini.

Earlier, at her home, as relatives and family friends prepared for the funeral, Shreya’s body lay on the floor in a room with the shields and trophies she had won placed nearby.

On the wall were hung two pictures of her with her family that included her parents and younger brother, all smiling.

When the white shroud covering the body was lifted to show her face, Lalitha and Shreya’s grandmother let out loud wails.

As the body was being carried out by pall-bearers out of the family’s house, the teenager’s mother broke off from a group of relatives surrounding her and ran behind the procession for a glimpse of her dead daughter.

As the procession of people carrying the body moved to the crematorium, it passed a narrow lane between two buildings with an outline of a human figure drawn in chalk on the ground.

The 17-year-old lay dead for a night at the spot, hardly 200 metres from the family flat.

“With a bag lying on one side and slippers on the other, she lay there facing skywards,” Sultan, 47, told IANS.

After police came to know of the body early Thursday morning, Sultan and another man Lambu working at the apartment complex rushed to inform Lalitha.

At the crematorium, everyone remembered Shreya as a studious and well-mannered girl.

“She was very intelligent and her picture was published in newspapers when she topped Class 10 exams,” family’s neighbour Suresh Sahni said.

Shreya had also reached the fourth round of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration programme, her family members said.

Outside the crematorium gate, Lalitha was inconsolabe. As her relatives tried to move her away, she collapsed thrice, crying out: “Please don’t burn her, please.”

Police have arrested Sarthak Kapoor, 18, a year senior to Shreya in school, in connection with the murder.

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