SI Deepanshu Rathi committed suicide after killing SI Preeti Ahlawat in Delhi on Thursday.
After allegedly killing a 26-year-old woman sub-inspector posted with Delhi Police, her batchmate, also 26, shot himself in Sonepat late Friday night. According to police, Preeti Ahlawat, posted with Patparganj Industrial Area police station, was shot dead outside Rohini (East) Metro station around 9.30 pm Friday, when she was returning home from work.
After going through CCTV footage from the area as well as Ahlawat’s call records, police narrowed down the list of suspects to Deepanshu Rathee, posted at Bhajanpura police station.
Police then got in touch with his workplace and tracked his cell phone, eventually tracing him to Murthal on the highway.
Delhi Police then approached their counterparts in Sonepat, and a team was dispatched to look for him.
#JUSTIN:A 26-year-old sub-inspector of @DelhiPolice has committed suicide in Sonepat after killing one of her batchmates,last night outside Rohini (East) metro stn. He was identified with the help of CCTV footage which shows he was following her. Probe on. @IndianExpress,@ieDelhi pic.twitter.com/JhfIllx9Vx
— Mahender Singh (@mahendermanral) February 8, 2020
“We took help from local police in Sonepat. Rathee’s car was found at an isolated spot near Murthal around 2 am. The headlights and the engine were on and he was found in the driver’s seat. When officers approached the vehicle, they found it was locked from inside. Rathee had shot himself. A service revolver was found in his right hand,” Additional CP (Rohini) S D Mishra said.
Police said prima facie it appears that Ahlawat and Rathee were in a relationship, which ended a few months ago, but he was not willing to move on. However, police added that they will get a clearer picture after speaking to the victim’s friends, family and colleagues.
Police alleged Rathee had been following Ahlawat for three days to identify her route and work timings. “On Friday evening, he waited for her to come out of the Metro station, followed her and shot her in the head at close range. He then walked back to his car,” an officer said.
“When police scanned her phone, they discovered that Rathee had been calling and messaging her constantly, but she had not been responding,” a senior officer said. Three cartridges of 9 mm were found from the spot.
Ahlawat, a 2018 batch sub-inspector, lived with two of her batchmates in Rohini’s Sector 8.
“Her father is a retired BSF official and her mother is a teacher. When she left work around 8.30 pm, she was not in uniform. She got out of the Metro station around 9.30 pm, and walked around 50 metres when the incident took place. She was taken to a hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival,” said a senior police officer.
The PCR call was made by a bystander, Umesh Prasad. He told The Indian Express, “I was walking in the park when I heard a gunshot. Initially, I thought someone had burst a cracker, but then I heard another gunshot and ran outside. I saw a man with a pistol walking towards the Metro station. I tried to chase him but he disappeared into the crowd. I saw the woman lying on the ground with gunshot wounds on her head and blood all over her face. I called police and informed them,”
An officer said, “We have informed the families and are trying to gather details about them from their friends and colleagues.”
Rathi’s family lives in Sonepat, and his father is a retired personnel from the Haryana Police.
Police said Ahlawat’s post-mortem will be conducted on Sunday as her elder brother, who lives in New Zealand, will be here by then.
Victim would often deal with cases of crimes against women
In the 11 months Preeti Ahlawat (26) had been part of Delhi Police as a probationary sub-inspector, she had primarily looked into cases of crimes against women. On Friday night, while returning to her home in Rohini, Ahlawat was shot dead, allegedly Deepanshu Rathee, also a policeman.
“I wish she had told us she was troubled and that Rathee was following her. I wish she had filed a complaint. We would have taken action against him,” said a head constable from Patparganj Industrial Area police station, where Ahlawat was posted.
Rathee was Ahlawat’s batchmate during their police training, which ended in 2018. He was posted as a probationary sub-inspector at Bhajanpura police station, and allegedly used his service revolver to kill Ahlawat and himself. Come March, the two would have been inducted as sub-inspectors in the force.
Ahlawat’s friends remember her as “hardworking, fun and polite”. “She mostly looked at sensitive cases of sexual harassment and would often go to courts or handle desk work. She was also on election duty. Preeti was very fond of Hindi films and songs. She was cheerful but reserved,” said the head-constable.
A police officer said, “After scanning call records, texts, and speaking to their batchmates, it appears they two were in a relationship, but called it off three months ago.”
A senior police officer claimed, “Rathee kept accosting her but she had other plans. He was pressuring her to meet him.”
Ahlawat is survived by her parents, who live in Rohtak, and her brother, who works in New Zealand as a software engineer.