Two persons were arrested in connection with the murder of a 23-year-old nanotechnology researcher at a private college here, with one of them being a relative of a highly-placed official at the institution, police said today.
Neha Sharma's murder has baffled the police ever since the victim was found stabbed to death in the laboratory at the private deemed university in the evening of March 15.
"Two prime suspects - Uday Swarup, a student of Dayalbagh Deemed University and Yashvir, a technician at the university's physics laboratory were arrested last night on the basis of prima facie evidence," SSP, Agra, Subhas Chand Dubey told reporters here.
"The duo will be questioned to confirm (leads) related to the murder. Only after this further action will be taken," he said, adding that they have been remanded in seven-days police custody.
Swarup is said to be a relative of a highly-placed official of the university and although he was held for questioning earlier, non-cooperation amounting to intervention by university authorities had thwarted police attempts to carry out a satisfactory interrogation.
As part of the investigation, fingerprints of a total of 218 students and employees of the university had been taken. After questioning several of them, police zeroed in on eight persons as the main suspects in the case.
While some samples of hair stained with blood, found in the laboratory, matched with those of the victim's, others matched with the hair samples of one of the arrested suspects, the SSP said.
He said that they were also investigating whether any attempt had been made to rape the victim before murder.
Meanwhile, R P Sharma, the victim's father, reacted to the latest development in the case saying, "if the suspects are arrested, the case should be taken up by a fast-track court so that punishment for the guilty is handed out at the earliest".
The death of the research scholar had drawn flak from several political parties and her co-students, who had staged protest demonstrations demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.