A 45-year-old freelance journalist was brutally attacked by unidentified persons when she was out for a walk at a popular park in northwest Delhi's Bharat Nagar area.
The incident took place on Wednesday evening when Aparna Kalra had gone to Picnic Hut at Ashok Vihar, which is usually crowded with walkers around that time, for her routine walk, police said today.
The victim was first rushed to Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital which referred her to Fortis Hospital at Shalimar Bagh where she underwent an emergency cranial surgery, said Dr P K Sachdeva, Additional Director, Fortis Hospital, who operated on her.
"She was brought to our hospital last night, bleeding profusely from the scalp. After the investigation, we immediately wheeled her into the operation theatre. The initial surgery lasted for about two hours and 30 minutes, after which we put her into the ICU (intensive care unit).
"A CT scan was conducted which showed multiple fracture, huge blood clot in her scalp, which could have proved fatal. A part of her scalp had to be removed. She is currently stable and still in the ICU as cranial surgery cases need to be monitored," Sachdeva told PTI.
Police are still investigating the case and so far, no eyewitnesses have come forward to share details about the attack. Her family members are also clueless about the motive behind the assault, police said.
"She has sustained severe injuries to her brain and skull. She was hit with iron rods and parts of her skull have been reduced to powder," said her uncle H C Bhatia, adding, the doctors have asked the family to wait and watch.
"She had gone for an evening walk to the park which takes two minutes to reach from her home. She would leave around 6-6.15 pm everyday and return around 7 pm, before it gets dark," he said.
On Wednesday, after leaving for the park at around her usual time, her family received calls at about 7.30 pm from Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital and the police, saying that she had been brought to the hospital in an injured condition.
On reaching the hospital, the family found her unconscious, severely bleeding from the head and nose. She regained consciousness just long enough to tell the police that she had been attacked.
Robbery doesn't appear to be a motive of the attack since she was neither wearing any jewellery nor carrying her mobile phone or any valuable item at the time of the attack, police said.
"Till now, there is no clarity on the motive behind the attack or the weapon used in the offence. One of the reasons for this is that we haven't been able to speak to the victim, who is still not fit for recording statement.
"Her family members are also clueless about the motive and only she can throw light on it. We have been informed that in a day or two, she might be in a position to record her statement," a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, the entire North West District's teams, including the special staff, are working on the case. A special team has been formed to probe the case. Around 30 notorious persons have also been rounded up from the area and are being questioned, the officer said.
"We keep sufficient police presence in and around crowded areas like such parks in the evening. There are special pickets outside such areas and surprise patrolling is also conducted inside the places to check incidents of snatching and other crimes," he added.
The journalist has been employed with leading dailies and was freelancing for the last year or so.
(With PTI inputs)