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A 25-year-old woman software engineer from Kerala, who worked with Infosys, was found murdered at the software firm's Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park office in the Hinjawadi area of Pune on Sunday, said the police. She had allegedly been strangled to death by an unidentified person. A security guard working at the office has been arrested by the police in connection with the case.

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The deceased

The woman has been identified as one K Rasila Raju. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vaishali Jadhav was quoted by PTI as saying that Rasila was working online with her teammates from Bengaluru on Sunday evening when she was allegedly strangulated with the help of a computer wire on the ninth floor of the building at Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park that houses the Infosys office.

Jadhav added about the incident: "Her [Rasila's] manager was trying to call her, but there was no response. The manager called and asked the security guard to go and check and when the security guard went to see her, she was found unconscious near her workstation."

She also said: "The incident might have taken place around 5 pm but we received a call around 8 pm. Raju was employed as a software engineer by the firm." The police registered a case of murder against unidentified persons, and a probe into the incident was initiated.

The accused

Preliminary investigation brought up the name of one Bhaben Saikia — a security guard hailing from Assam — in the case, and the police started searching for him. He was subsequently detained in Mumbai in the early hours of Monday, and later arrested. 

The incident once again calls into question the safety of women — especially working women — across the country. That she could have been murdered by someone who had been been tasked with ensuring the security of an office is especially ironic.

Police sources told reporters later in the day that Saikia had taken a liking to Rasila, and had even proposed to her, but she had snubbed him. He apparently followed her to her office on Monday and started harassing her. When she threatened to complain to the office, he allegedly strangled her with a computer cable and fled to Mumbai, from where he was arrested. 

Infosys 'working with the cops'

In an official statement, Infosys said on Twitter: "We are deeply saddened & shocked by the tragedy at Pune DC. Our hearts go out to our colleague's family in this time of grief. [sic]" It added: "We are working with the authorities to provide all necessary support."

This, after the police said they were probing the motive behind the murder, and would investigate whether Infosys had done due diligence when conducting a background check into Saikia. Infosys has already given the police CCTV footage from the crime scene and its surroundings, which has helped the cops establish the sequence of events before, during and after the murder.