Youth claims to have witnessed murder of Agra research scholar

A 20-year-old youth has claimed before Agra police to have witnessed the murder of research scholar Neha Sharma, whose body was found in a laboratory of Dayal Bagh Educational Institute on March 15.

The Agra police had recorded his statement two days back.

Senior sub-inspector Ashish Kumar Singh, who is the investigating officer of the case, said the eyewitness has agreed to get his statement recorded before the magistrate, which they will get done soon.

On Wednesday, the Agra police filed the chargesheet in the case against two accused, namely Uday Swaroop (21), a final year student of BSc at the institute, and his friend, 35-year-old Yashveer Singh Sandhu, a laboratory technician. Singh said the chargesheet had been filed on charges of attempt to rape and murder.

Swaroop is the grandson of retired IAS officer Prem Kumar, president of the Dayal Bagh Satsang Sabha, which runs the institute.

Singh said the eyewitness is known to the victim's family.

"He said on March 15 he went to the laboratory to meet Neha for some work. He claimed to have heard the girl screaming and had seen both arrested accused hitting her. He says he was scared and quietly left the place," said Singh, adding that the youth said that he did not inform the police then because of fear. Now, he had come to the police on his own.

Neha (27) was working on a research project on antibodies. Her body was found in the laboratory with 12 deep cuts, inflected with a paper cutter and a surgical blade.

The police came to know about the death the same day after they found Neha's abandoned car, with a cellphone number written on a paper. The number turned out that of her father Rashpal Sharma in Delhi. Later, the police found Neha's laptop from a garbage bin near the lab.

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