P Ram Kumar lived in a mansion in in Choolaimedu, less than a kilometre away from the residence of S Swathi who was slain at Nungambakkam railway station last Friday, June 24.
City Police Commissioner T K Rajendran on Saturday confirmed that Ram Kumar was the lone suspect in the Swathi murder case, and he had stalked the victim for the past three months, on her way to work and back home.
Commissioner Rajendran said Ramkumar had intended to befriend Swathi, and on failing in his attempts, hacked her to death on the morning of Friday, June 24 around 6.30, when she was waiting for a suburban train that she usually took to get to her workplace.
It was after a massive, week-long manhunt by 40 policemen in 10 special teams that Chennai police zeroed in on Ramkumar.
Police teams secured the suspect from Alangulam in Tirunelveli district on late Friday night, near his hometown of Meenakshipuram.
Ramkumar reportedly attempted suicide by slashing his throat with a blade while police rounded him up. He has been admitted at a government hospital in Tirunelveli.
People who had witnessed the gruesome killing last Friday had told police that a young man wearing a green-and-white checked shirt and dark pants had approached Swathi. Within moments, it turned into a heated conversation and the man took out a sickle from a backpack he was carrying and struck out Swathi.
Since then, police had collected CCTV footage from the area around the railway station in the heart of Chennai, and set about looking for the person matching the description given by eyewitness.
They zeroed in on a suspect and pasted his photographs from the CCTV footage around mansions (lodging for male students and office-goers), and disseminated it through newspapers, television channels and websites and sought information from the public.
Having received information from several sources, police say the found that the suspect was P Ram Kumar, who had been living in a mansion on a street close to Swathi's house.
Police swept his room and secured documents from the room as well as the mansion. They found the address in his hometown near Tirunelveli, tracked him down and arrested him.
Swathi, who was an employee of Infosys, commuted everyday on the suburban train from Nungambakkam railway station to her office in Mahindra Tech Park near Maraimalai Nagar on the outskirts of Chennai.
On Friday last, as usual, her father Santhana Gopalakrishnan, a retired Central govt employee, had dropped Swathi in the station in the morning at 6.30.
A few minutes later as Swathi was waiting on platform 2, eyewitnesses said, a man wearing a green and white checked shirt and blackpants approached her. The two had a heated argument following which the man took out a sickle from a backpack he was carrying and assaulted her.
Swathi tried to escape but lost balance and fell to the ground, as commuters watched in shock, while the assailant made a quick getaway.
Swathi was left to bleed to death with several cut injuries on her face and neck on the railway platform, which is frequented thousands of passengers every day.