Only one bullet was fired at Delhi journalist: police

October 2nd, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Ruling out the two-bullet theory in the murder of television journalist Saumya Vishwanathan, the Delhi Police Thursday said only one bullet was fired in the incident that took her life. Though the police teams of south district were working on various aspects of the case, officials strongly believed that it could be a job of a person known to Vishwanathan or a contract killer.

“The forensic expert after examining her car categorically told us that only one bullet was fired. It is also very clear that the assailant must have pumped the bullet into her right side of the skull from a point-blank range,” a police official, involved in investigations, told IANS.

“Earlier we were suspecting firing of two bullets - one at her and second at the front of the car. But no other bullet was recovered in the forensic examination,” the official added.

The confusion took place after the police personnel noticed a small bullet sized hole at the front registration number plate of the car.

The crime inspections team suspected that the bullet after passing through the number plate had either hit the right front tyre or got stuck in the radiator.

The police official said they were now working on two angles. Either someone was accompanying Vishwanathan in the car or she was chased. Assailants, who could be at least two in number, drove their vehicle parallel to her car and fired at her from a very close range.

Vishwanathan, who was working with the production department of the Headlines Today news channel, was found dead in her white Maruti Suzuki Zen car on the Nelson Mandela Road in the Vasant Kunj area around 3.30 a.m. Tuesday. She was returning from work to her home in Sector-C of Vasant Kunj.

“It is sure that the entire incident has happened in just 15-20 minutes because she spoke to her father M.K. Vishwanathan at 3.15 a.m. and everything was fine till then. She died around 3.30 a.m.,” said another investigating officer.

According to the police, one theory suggests that she might have given lift to some people known to her on way to home. There could be at least two people - one who sat on the front seat and the second one, who could be a contract killer, was in the back seat.

The second person might have fired at her and both the people left the car after it hit the central verge. Chances are very high that both the people might have suffered some injuries in the mishap.

The police were not only scrutinising the calls details of Vishwanathan but also looking at details of other calls made in the areas that she had travelled in half-an-hour after she left her Jhandewalan office at 3.02 a.m.

“The call details would help us in reaching more closer to the killer,” said the officer, adding that they have not given clean chit to anyone and it was likely that they may question her office colleagues.

The official said they would also be questioning her family and friends.

A separate police team, however, was working on the other aspect of the cold-blooded murder. The officials believe that the bullet was fired from outside when the car was in motion and probably above the speed of 60-70 km per hour.

“We think that assailants were chasing her since she left her office. They drove parallel to her car on the Nelson Mandela Road, which is wide and mainly remains very thinly crowded in the early hours. They came closer to her and one of the killers shot her,” the official said.

“Only a sharp shooter can hit with such precision in a moving car. If that were the case, again it becomes clear that she was followed by a person close to her. We have all reasons to believe an insider hand in the entire case,” the official added.

The police have already ruled out robbery as a motive behind the murder. “Though chances of a road rage are also very slim, we are collecting details of similar past cases.”

The police were also collecting data of those criminals who use country made weapon for killing.

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