It’s been a week and no one has the answer to this question. Who killed Swathi?
A 24-year-old brutally murdered in broad daylight. A young girl hacked to death in one of the most bustling railway stations in the capital city of Tamil Nadu. In a city believed to be safe for women.
Four CCTV clips, sketches from not only the police but also the media, eight special teams spread across Chennai to nab the accused, people going door-to-door asking for information; but still a dead end.
This bright young girl got out of her house in the morning dressed in a salwar kameez. So this time no one can say it was her clothes that drew unwanted attention. Yes, there are people talking about a jilted, vengeful lover. But does that really matter? A life was lost. Speculation makes no difference. But what does is humanity.
A station filled with activity and for two hours her body was exposed on the platform. No one attended to her.
"Mute spectators" is what her father called them. It took the police two hours to attend to her mortal remains. A station flooded with commuters. They claim to see her everyday. And it’s a real pity that they did not have it in them to look this murderer in the face or nab him.
The sickle might have been scary and a brutal murder before you is something unimaginable. But it sure comes as a surprise that not one person on that platform had the time to click the assailant’s picture.
These are the people who tend to be busy with Facebook display images and selfies, and when you needed a lead, all you have is one grainy and hazy CCTV image.
Colleges, clubs, churches, temples, eating joints and drugs – Nungambakkam has it all and in the midst of this, tucked away in a corner is this station, where this bright girl was hacked to death.
And we know how this turns out. Everyone across the nation will grapple with every bite the media throws out to them. But life in Chennai will go on in the shacks on Marina Beach, with flower-sellers knotting jasmines and the local trains filled with commuters. Life will only stop for Swathi’s father who will remember his girl everyday for the rest of his life.