The man who’d attacked journalist Aparna Kalra held

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New Delhi: Delhi Police have claimed to have solved the case of the brutal attack on senior journalist Aparna Kalra with the arrest of a youth who, police said, was infatuated with the 45-year-old journalist.

The accused, Sanjay (22), is a school dropout. He used to work in a nail polish factory, police said, adding that he had five siblings and his father owned a ‘chaat’ cart.

He was arrested today from the Sawan Park slums.

“Was highly concerned about the assault case on our media friend Ms Kalra. I congratulate NW Distt team for quickly solving this blind case (sic),” tweeted Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik.

Sanjay attacked Kalra on 5 April when she went for her regular walk in a part in the evening. The park, Picnic Hut, in northwest Delhi’s Ashok Vihar, which is usually crowded at that time of the day, did not throw up any voluntary eyewitnesses on the day of the incident.

The accused was identified after questioning various people, including the regular visitors to the park, said DCP (Northwest) Milind Mahadeo Dumbere.

Police began rounding up the rogue elements, drug addicts and those who had previous criminal records in the area. Some of those detained told the police about the presence of the accused at the park at the time of the incident.

“He confessed that he had seen Kalra at the park around 8-10 times and was infatuated with her. He accosted Kalra to talk to him, with a view to befriend her, but in vain. In a fit of rage, he attacked her with a stone,” said another officer.

Sources claimed that the accused had consumed liquor before coming to the park on that day with an intention to sexually assault her. As Kalra did not pay heed to him, he attacked her with a stone.

As Kalra raised an alarm, the accused fled.

He was neither aware of the fate of the journalist nor of the subsequent uproar the incident had created, police said.

Meanwhile, the police said Kalra was recovering and showing signs of improvement.

With inputs from agencies