Sunday, February 28, 2010

IIT girl's murder

IIT girl's murder solved, fellow IIT-ian arrested

Pragati Tibberwal was stabbed in a Shimla hotel; accused Gaurav Verma, architecture student at IIT-Roorkee, attempted suicide afterwards, say cops

The Shimla police arrested Gaurav Verma, a student of IIT-Roorkee, on Sunday for the murder of IIT-Delhi girl Pragati Tibberwal. The police said after the murder, Verma had attempted suicide twice.

The two had reached Shimla early on Friday morning and checked in at Hotel Rashik on Cart Road, near Kaithu.

On Saturday afternoon, finding the youth missing, the hotel staff broke open the locked room and found the girl's body. She had been stabbed.

"Verma, a third-year architecture student at IIT-Roorkee, has confessed to the crime," said RM Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police, Shimla.

The two were in a relationship and police suspect an altercation.

"After murdering her, he attempted suicide twice, but failed," Sharma said. "We have some evidence of it, but it also could have been an afterthought to hoodwink investigators."

The postmortem report of Tibberwal will be ready on Tuesday, the police said. Preliminary findings indicated that there were stab wounds on her neck and it there were physical injuries suggesting that she had fought back.

Both were heavily intoxicated when the crime took place, Sharma said. The police have recovered broken beer bottles and knives from the room.

The police found clues to their identities from a laptop belonging to Tibberwal, which contained their photographs and some answersheets from IIT-Roorkee . Tibberwal, a third-year student of textile engineering of IIT-Delhi, was from Patna. Verma is from Mankapur in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh. The two had met at a coaching institute in Kota, Rajasthan. "The Registrar at IIT-Roorkee told us the boy often used to travel to Delhi on weekends to meet her. Verma has confessed to it as well," Sharma said.

The two had gone to Shimla to celebrate Verma's birthday, which was on December 25. They had taken a taxi from Delhi, the police said.

After the murder, Verma left for Chandigarh and stayed in a hotel, the police said. From there, he went Roorkee, but after a few friends spotted him, he boarded the evening train to Ambala.

The police, meanwhile, had alerted the Railway Police at Ambala and Jagadari and had traced his seat and coach number. He was arrested at Jagadari.

Relatives of Tibberwal — her uncle Vitin and younger sister — meanwhile, reached Shimla on Sunday morning to receive and cremate the body. Vitin said: "We have full faith in the police, its investigations and judicial system to bring the guilty to book."

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