Delhi journo in critical condition after being attacked at a park in Ashok Vihar
An unidentified man attacked freelance journalist Aparna Kalra at a public park in Delhi’s Ashok Vihar locality on Wednesday evening. The 45-year-old was admitted to Fortis Hospital with multiple brain injuries.
Kalra managed to give the police a statement when she gained consciousness for a few minutes on Wednesday night. She was able to communicate sporadically on Thursday but was only able to tell the police that she had been attacked. The police said that they have registered an attempt to murder case against unknown people, but were clueless about the identity and motive of the assailant.
Officers had found Kalra unconscious in the park, bleeding from her head and nose. “We have no eyewitnesses to this attack. We were informed about a woman lying unconscious in the park by a visitor. But the caller had not witnessed the attack,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) Milind Dumbre said.
The assault took place around 6.30 pm on Wednesday when Kalra had gone for her regular walk at Picnic Hut park. “At 7.30 pm, her sister received a call from the police saying Kalra was admitted to Deep Chand Hospital with brain injuries,” her uncle HC Bhatia said. She was later shifted to Fortis, where doctors said some parts of her skull were missing. “She is in critical condition as she has received multiple injuries to her brain nerves,” her uncle said.
Doctors said the victim, Aparna Kalra, 45, has suffered a three-inch long fracture on the skull which has injured her brain and some nerves. By Thursday evening, she was said to be stable but in critical care. There was apparently no witness to the attack. Police said details of the attack are unclear as Kalra is yet unfit to give a statement. A heavy, bloodstained stone found near the site was probably used in the assault, they said. According to the cops, there are multiple lines of probe. Around 50 suspects from the area have been cross-examined till now.
Dr P K Sachdeva, additional director and head of neurosurgery department at Fortis hospital, said Kalra was now stable. “She is cur rently under observation in ICU. We are confident of complete recovery,” he said.
Doctors said Kalra suffered deep injury in the head due to which part of her skull had fractured and there was blood clot inside. Dr Sachdeva and his team operated on her around 11pm, within four hours of the incident, to remove the clot and repair the part of the skull that was fractured. “There is some injury to the eyes but her vision is intact,” the doctor said.
The Delhi Police detained three men on Friday for the attack. The three are alleged drug addicts and live in JJ Colony in Ashok Vihar. Sources said one of the men had attacked Kalra with a stone after she objected to them drinking in the park. Kalra had raised an alarm, following which one of them hit her with a stone and fled. The stone used in the attack was found near the spot.
The journalist lives with her family in Ashok Vihar Phase III. Kalra worked with mainstream newspapers before becoming a freelancer, making it difficult to ascertain if the motive behind the attack was enmity due to an offensive news report she made in the past.