The quiet campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University was shattered on Wednesday morning after an undergraduate student walked into a classroom armed with an axe, a knife and a pistol, asked a girl to walk out with him and, when she refused, slashed her.
He died later while the girl is battling for her life. The incident took place around 11 a.m. in the sprawling JNU campus.
The alleged attacker, Akash Kumar Gupta, was a resident of Jhelum hostel. He was studying Korean language and was a classmate of the victim Roshni Jha who resided in Shipra hostel. The incident took place at Room Number 213 of the School of Languages building.
An eyewitness said it all started when Akash barged into the classroom, where Roshni was already present, during a minor break between the first two classes of the day. “Having missed the first lecture, he (Akash) entered the classroom soon after the lecturer and some students left. He was carrying some weapons and a liquid-filled bottle,” said the eyewitness.
That bottle, as police found later, had poison in it.
Once he got in, Akash told those present there to leave the classroom. Some, however, stayed back even as Akash talked to Roshni.
While it is not clear what Akash said, sources said he told Roshni to come with him and she refused.
“The response, it appeared, angered Akash and he hit Roshni on the head with an axe. He then pushed her on one of the desks of the classroom and stabbed her several times with both the axe and the knife,” the eyewitness said.
Some of those present tried to intervene but Akash brandished the country-made firearm to scare them away, he said.
Akash then consumed the poison and used the knife to slash himself, the eyewitness said.
A call was made to the Police Control Room and the injured were rushed to the hospital. Akash, who was taken the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, died later.
Roshni is battling for life at the Safdarjung Hospital.
“Roshni had a brain surgery in the evening and is reported to be critical,” said a police officer.
A suicide note purportedly recovered from Akash’s bag revealed that he was friends with the victim and had known her for two years.
According to the police, the four-page document written in Hindi added that in recent times there was an ego clash between the two and she was trying to distance herself from him.
A student said a besotted Akash had been pursuing Roshni for the last two years. Both the attacker and the victim were from Bihar and were in the third year of the Korean language course.
A case has been registered under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.