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Six months later, Nidhi's killer still at large Sunday, October 21, 2001
BY LEENA MISRA, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: It is six months since the gruesome and mysterious murder of 24-year old Nidhi Shah from Ahmedabad, on the outskirts of Virar in Mumbai and the case has turned into a whodunit that is taking long to crack. But investigations till now point to a person who was probably associated with her intimately, as being the murderer, said sources.
At least three witnesses have confirmed having seen Nidhi with the long-haired boy whose computer sketch was constructed on the basis of the description by the village patel's wife at Bavkal village where Nidhi's body was spotted on April 19 near a holiday resort.
Nidhi disappeared from the University grounds after her web-designing class around 7.45 p.m. on April 16. She had abandoned her car near the Dadasaheb Na Pagla temple in Navrangpura and the only thing missing from the car was a scarf she used to cover her head. She was then spotted at Paldi on April 18.
On April 27 a police team from Virar came down with her belongings confirming that she had been murdered on April 19.
Apparently, two of these witnesses are from Ahmedabad, sources confirmed which indicate that the killer probably was from Ahmedabad. But Nidhi's family persistently believes that the police have not done much to book the criminal. They feel that her fiance Puneet Sancheti is involved, but there has been no evidence till date to indict him. "It is our fervent request that the police take the case seriously", Nidhi's father Anand Shah told TNN on Thursday.
Incidentally, a Maharashtra police team came with Puneet to Ahmedabad in July following a clue, but did not find much. Some facts that have come to light in the past three months are that the Shahs used to receive anonymous outstation calls from persons wanting to know or inform about Nidhi.
One such conversation with a girl, who reportedly identified herself as 'Jyoti' (the name by which Nidhi is learnt to have travelled to Malad) was recorded nearly a month after Nidhi's body was spotted on April 19. The family claims that the cassette was submitted to the city crime branch which was assisting the Maharashtra police in the investigation which they allege has been 'misplaced' by the police.
There was also an anonymous letter in Gujarati which the family received. It was reportedly sent to the investigators, but its contents are unclear.
Police sources claimed that 'there was nothing in that cassette worth noting'. No case was registered in Ahmedabad and the police here feels that the girl's family was not 'co-operative enough'.
And there were also anonymous callers indicating that the girl might have been involved in drug peddling, which have been dismissed by the police as 'diverting the investigations'. Police sources claim that Nidhi was reportedly with this mysterious person for at least 55 hours before she was killed. The other fact that has surfaced is that the fiance Puneet received a call on his cellular phone on April 25 from someone who threatened dire consequences if he did not meet the person at a stipulated rendezvous in Mumbai.
The police also reportedly tracked down the phenyle bottle found from the site of the crime, as having been bought in Ahmedabad. But whose face will the pieces of this jigsaw reveal is still a mystery.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]