For 62-year-old Dharampal Chandna, it was a normal day at his store in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar till one of his regular customers turned violent last week.
Chandna, who has been running ‘Amit Provision Store’ at G-block for more than three decades, was almost stabbed to death by a 21-year-old student of Afghan descent, when he asked the latter to wait for something as innocuous as a mobile recharge coupon.
“Around 6:30pm on December 4, I was at the store when Md Rishad, who stays in I-block and has been visiting my store since he landed in Delhi six months ago, came to purchase a mobile recharge coupon,” Chandna said.
Since it was a holiday, Chandna’s son, Amit, who deals in mobile recharge coupons, hadn’t turned up. So, Chandna asked Rishad to either wait till Amit returned in 10 minutes or go to an adjacent shop.
“The young man seemed to be in a hurry and started abusing me in his native language. He lifted a knife lying on the counter and tried to stab me in the stomach,” he said.
Fortunately, Chandna grabbed the blade with his right hand. The student left the senior citizen writhing in pain as he bled profusely.
The police were informed and Rishad was arrested. However, he has not been booked under provisions related to attempt to murder, but under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code ‘for voluntarily causing hurt’. “According to the police, I shouldn’t have defended myself. I should have let him stab me in the stomach to get him punished adequately,” Chandna said.
The Delhi Police have registered as many as 20 cases of crime against senior citizens, ranging from murder to dacoity and even robbery till November 30 this year.