As Infosys techie Rasila Raju (24) slaved away in office, all alone on a Sunday, her sole consolation was that this was her ticket for a transfer out of the Pune branch. That was what she was discussing with her cousin seconds before she abruptly ended the call with the chilling words: “Someone is entering my work bay, I will call you back.”
Rasila wasn’t thrilled about working alone on Sunday (January 29). In fact, she had told her family that she was often forced to put in extra time because her boss held a grudge against her.
Rasila’s last words
“My transfer to the Bangalore office depends on my submission today. I should receive my transfer order by the first week of February,” Rasila told her cousin sister Anjali Nandkumar on the phone. Then, seconds later, she hung up with the words: “Someone is entering my working bay, I will call you back.”
Those were her last words. Around 8.30 pm, Rasila’s lifeless body was found in her cubicle, her neck strangled with a computer cable.
She put up a fight
The post-mortem indicated that Rasila had put up a fight but was bashed in the face and chest several times. “We found bite marks on her left shoulder, which indicate that the accused tried to force himself on her and she fought back. A blunt object was used to assault the victim, and she sustained blunt injuries on the chest and face,” said a forensic expert from BJ medical college, where the autopsy was done.
The expert added, “The body was brought to the mortuary with the power chord that was used to strangulate the deceased. So much force was used that the victim that blood oozed from her mouth and nostrils, which might have splashed on the accused clothes.
“What’s shocking is that the police neither took the forensic team to the crime scene, nor did they allow the experts to examine the accused for evidence.
The next day, the police arrested Infosys security guard Saikiya Bhaben, who admitted that he killed after she rebuked him for staring at her. But the security guard wasn’t the only man harassing Rasila at work.
‘Boss held a grudge’
“My team manager is putting additional pressure on me ever since I refused to join him for a team lunch. My transfer approval is also pending with him and I will have to complete the work that I have been given,” she had told her father, Raju OP, just three days ago.
Even during the lunch break, while all her colleagues would leave for lunch, she would be made to stay back and work, revealed her brother Laijin Kumar OP, speaking from Calicut. He added, “Rasila had told me on the phone a few weeks ago that she had refused to join the team in their social gatherings and this was not appreciated by the manager. A few weeks later, she approached the manager, seeking a transfer to Bangalore, but he refused. There was an argument between them, and in a fit of rage, he threatened to teach her a lesson – this was witnessed by Rasila’s colleagues.”
The family is also upset over the delay in informing them about Rasila’s death. “The police were informed around 8.30 pm, but my father received the call around 10.40 pm from the Bangalore office. I do not understand the reason for the delay in informing us,” said Laijin, who flew in from Abu Dhabi, where he works.
After the sixteenth day rituals, Rasila’s family members will return to Pune to register a complaint against the manager and the company’s security manager.
A statement from Infosys said: “We are extending all support to the police to investigate the matter and all points raised by the family will be looked into.”
Lapses in probe?
>> Why didn’t the police take the forensic team to the crime scene?
>> Why were accused’s blood and nails not collected by experts?
>> Why was the CCTV footage not sealed and sent to forensics?
Infosys takes action
>> No employee to work alone
>> Extra female guards deployed
>> Work from home facility
>> Panic buttons and rapid response teams
>> Blunt injuries on face, chest
>> Ligature marks around the neck
>> Bite marks on left shoulder
>> Saliva to be sent for DNA analysis
>> Victim’s nails to be analysed
Rashmi Shukla, Pune police commissioner, said, “The case was reported in Pune rural area, which is not in my jurisdiction. We are starting a helpline for women along with a mobile alert system to assist any woman who needs police assistance.”