Rasila Raju OP
In a dreadful incident, a 24-year-old woman techie's body was found at her office at Infosys in Pune on the night of January 29. Here are eight shocking developments in the case.
Rasila Raju OP was found dead in a conference room on the 9th floor of the Infosys building in Phase II of Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park on Sunday evening. The systems engineer, who hailed from Kozhikode district of Kerala, had allegedly been strangulated with a computer cable. The woman was rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead. The murder came as a shock to her family, which was making arrangements for her marriage.
A security guard, identified as Bhaben Saikiya, was detained at CST and taken to Pune. The police managed to trace Saikiya to CST railway station. He was detained around 6 am on Monday, and was brought to Pune four hours later. Saikiya resides at Kisan Rambhau Thakkar in Hinjewadi Phase three. A case of murder has been registered with Hinjewadi police station.
Rasila’s reporting manager, Abijeet Amrut Kothari, a senior associate consultant with Infosys, told the police that Rasila had been working on Sunday to complete a project. "On Sunday, I, along with a few members from our Bengaluru team, was working from home on the project, while Rasila was at work. Around 6.15 pm, I realised that Rasila was not responding to any of our emails for an hour," Kothari said. Sensing something amiss, Kothari called up on the office landline and requested the security guard to check on Rasila. When the guard went to her cubicle, he found her lying in a pool of blood. "We immediately alerted the police," he said.
The Infosys campus at Hinjewadi Phase I
Arun Waykar, senior inspector of Hinjewadi police station, informed that the police narrowed down on Saikiya because he wasn't on duty on the floor where Rasila worked, and was found moving around suspiciously. Based on our investigations and CCTV footage, we learnt that Saikiya was last seen near her cubicle, before he disappeared from the office. We detained him at CST as he was trying to board a train to Assam. He is the only person to have been seen on the floor on five occasions in the CCTV footage.”
Further investigations revealed that Rasila Raju paid with her life for objecting to a security guard staring at her while she worked in office on Sunday evening, police said in Pune on Monday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Hinjewadi Ganesh Shinde told mediapersons. According to Shinde, the victim had objected to Saikia staring at her when she came out of her office and threatened to complain to his bosses. Around 5 p.m., Saikia entered her ninth floor office and allegedly strangled her with a computer cord.
“This [murder] cannot be the act of one security guard. There are chances of more people, including a superior, being involved in this case," alleged a grieving Raju O, father of the Infosys techie. "With great hope, I had sent my daughter to work in Infosys, but due to their security lapses, she is no more. For the past five months, she had been requesting her seniors to transfer her to Bengaluru as she was not happy in the city, because her superior was harassing her. My daughter had complained about the harassment being meted out by the superior to a relative and me," said 55-year-old Raju O, a former Army officer.
Even his mother can’t digest the horrific manner in which Infosys security guard Bhaben Saikiya (27) killed young techie Rasila Raju OP in cold blood. "I am no longer his mother. He has killed an innocent girl, he must be punished," said Saikiya’s mother, Aruna (name changed). In a way, it was thanks to his mother that Saikiya was caught. Speaking to mid-day Saikiya’s mother said, "After the murder, my son called me and confessed to the crime. I told him not to run, that it would be better to surrender to the police. But he did not listen. He said that he would first come home to Guwahati and meet me and then think about it," Aruna told mid-day. It was as he was trying to board a train to Assam from CST that the police caught up with him.
Infosys guard Bhaben Saikiya wants to take his own life because his mother cannot digest his horrific actions. Sources from the Hinjewadi police told mid-day, "Saikiya is in police custody and our team is investigating the case. On Wednesday morning, while the team was busy preparing the case papers, he began banging his head on the iron bars of the lock-up. He claimed he no longer wanted to live, as even his mother was not speaking to him." In fact, cops said this was not the first time he tried to take his life. "That same afternoon, when we inspected the CCTV footage from the crime scene, we discovered that on the day of the murder as well, he had tried to jump from the ninth floor window. After this, we took the necessary precautions and have posted constables to keep an eye on him at all times," said the cop.
A family pic featuring Rasila Raju
Two weeks after the murder of Rasila Raju, her friends and many youngsters came together to form a committee to seek justice for her. On Saturday, February 11, they plan to form a human chain at her home at Manchira (a village in Kottayam district). Her uncle said many youngsters from their village have come together to start the Justice for Rasila Raju Action Committee. Rasila's father Raju OP, who claims she was harassed by other employees, has said he is going to demand a CBI inquiry in the case, as he is not happy with the way the police are dealing with it, and he thinks it is because of Infosys. But Assistant Commissioner of Police, Geetanjali Mane, who is investigating the case, said they are doing their best
The family of Rasila, on February 16, asked the Pune police to initiate action against the company and her team leader, who allegedly bore a grudge against her. In a letter given to Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla, Rasila's father and an ex-serviceman, Raju OP (88), her maternal uncle, Rajjan Nayyar, and her brother, Laijin Kumar (29) - from Kerala - raised the suspicion that the techie's murder was a well-planned act and that her team leader had played a role in it. They asked the police to form an inquiry panel against Infosys, with a member from the Pune Malayalee Federation on board for transparency's sake.
"I work with a security firm, and know how getting access to restricted areas is difficult," said father Raju. "I believe that my daughter was not killed in the heat of the moment; it was a cold-blooded murder. How did the security guard (Bhaben Saikiya, who is in police custody) get his hands on the ninth-floor access card, where my daughter was working? I'm sure there is a bigger conspiracy at play." He claimed that Rasila's boss, who allegedly nursed a grudge against her, had a hand in the attack. Laijin, who works in Abu Dhabi, UAE, blamed Infosys for poor security measures. He alleged that three days prior to her murder, Rasila had complained of facing undue stress at work.