She was crossing the road by the foot over bridge when the assailant fired at her from behind

In a shocking case of broad daylight murder, a second year student of Delhi University was shot dead near her college premises by a young man at Dhaula Kuan here on Tuesday. One person has been detained for questioning by the Delhi Police.

Radhika Tanwar (22), a student of the Ram Lal Anand College located on the South Campus of the Delhi University, alighted from a bus on Ring Road around 10 a.m. and was crossing the road by the foot over bridge near Satya Niketan when the assailant fired at her from behind.

The victim, who was shot at from point blank range, collapsed on the pathway. Some of the passers-by initially thought that Radhika's mobile phone had exploded. They then noticed blood oozing from her back. In the melee, the killer fled from the spot.

Seeing her collapse, Radhika's college mate Aditya Singh, who was walking ahead of her on the foot over bridge, rushed towards her. Constable Sanoj Kumar, who was manning a nearby police picket, also reached the spot on hearing the gunshot. They took her in an auto rickshaw to Safdarjung Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival.

The police found Radhika's college identity card and a mobile phone in her possession. They called up her father Rajender Singh Tanwar, a resident of Naraina Village. “I was at my residence when I received a call that my daughter had been admitted to Safdarjung Hospital with a bullet injury. I informed my relatives and friends and we rushed to the hospital where we were told that she was dead,” he said.

The victim's body was taken to the mortuary of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences for post-mortem in the afternoon. It was later handed over to the family members for cremation.

A murder case has been registered at the Dhaula Kuan police station. While police have nearly ruled out robbery as a motive, they are trying to ascertain if Radhika was being harassed by someone. “We have checked records at the Dhaula Kuan and Naraina police stations and have not come across any complaint of harassment lodged by the victim,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range) Amulya Patnaik.

Radhika's father said: “Why would anyone kill her? My daughter had no enemies. She never told us about any person harassing her. She usually took a bus to her college from near the Naraina vegetable market, but we would drop her sometimes. Two of her female classmates, who live in the same area, used to travel with her to the college,” said Mr. Tanwar.

However, Radhika had to travel alone on Tuesday morning as the other two girls did not turn up. The police suspect that the assailant followed her up to the foot over bridge and shot her dead from close range. “It may turn out to be a case of one-sided love affair, but we are also probing other possibilities at this stage. We are questioning the victim's friends and classmates in this regard. Statements of her family members will also be recorded,” said a police officer.

The police have got a sketchy description of the assailant from some eyewitnesses. “According to them, the killer was in his early 20s and of medium height. He was wearing a pair of jeans,” said the officer, adding that one person has been detained thus far. The police are also trying to find out if any of the closed-circuit television cameras installed near the scene of crime had captured the assailant.