“I heard a loud shriek and the strange noise of a sickle ploughing into flesh. When I and a few others turned, we realised that Swathi had just been hacked. Blood was gurgling out of her neck and she had collapsed. Her head and limbs moved sporadically and shivered for about three minutes and then it was still. I watched her gory death from a distance of about 50 yards for about three minutes.”

This is the first ever eyewitness account of the brutal murder of software engineer S Swathi on June 24 at the Nungambakkam railway station. D Tamilarasan, a teacher attached to an institution in Vandalur, told that two people chased the assailant immediately after the murder, one threw a stone at him, but the young man crossed the railway track between platforms two and three even as a train was approaching from the Chengalpet side. He climbed up the platform, scaled a wall and escaped into the adjoining Choolaimedu neighbourhood. This is Tamilarasan’s first-person account.

About 60 of us regularly board the 6.50am train bound for Chengalpet. We reach Platform 2 about 10 minutes before the train arrives. On Friday, Swathi was waiting where the women’s compartment stops while many of us were standing about 50 yards away for a general coach. We used to notice Swathi every day. She was a smart and well-built girl who was hard to miss. The assailant spent hardly a couple of minutes near Swathi before she let out a shriek. Since it was early morning, we could clearly hear her and sound of the sickle slashing her.We saw Swathi’s body, smeared in blood, for about five minutes before a woman standing close to me said, “She is gone”. In fact, three minutes after the attack, her body had become still. When the 6.50am train came, most of us boarded our usual compartments still gazing at the body lying on the platform in a pool of blood.

Earlier in June, probably on June 6 or June 7, a young man approached Swathi and slapped her several times before leaving in a jiffy. We saw her receive all the blows without any resistance before boarding the train quietly. She did not react at all. Some women, who saw the incident, wondered aloud why Swathi kept quiet while being slapped. On both occasions she was carrying the same handbag. I have a feeling that the men involved in the incidents were different. While the person who slapped Swathi was wheatish, the killer had a slightly darker tone with a receding hairline.I have told whatever I knew of the incident to the police and they have recorded my statements, especially the one about the incident when Swathi was slapped. They also showed a lot of photographs of suspects but I did not find either the person who slapped her or the killer among them. I can easily identify the one who slapped Swathi.

 I think Swathi knew both the men as they did not look as if they were going to hurt her. But on that fateful day, everything was over with a shudder, under three minutes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *