Just four hours before restaurant manager Rajiv Jolly Wilson lost his life in a case of road rage at Khan Market, a 21-year-old man, Mukesh Kumar, was stabbed to death with a screwdriver.
There was no apparent reason why he should have been killed — except that he intervened in an
argument between a shopkeeper and his two customers over the sale of curd.
In the past five years, of the 2,489 murders that happened in Delhi, 382 were by people who let their anger explode into a situation in which someone ended up dying.
Last year alone, 78 people were killed due to sudden provocation over trivial issues. A
32-year-old man was killed in Sultanpuri in November last year when he refused his friend a cigarette. In December, a petrol pump attendant was run over by a car when he filled petrol for R300 instead of Rs150.
On Tuesday, Wilson died under the wheels of Jet Airways pilot Vikas Aggarwal's car as they physically fought after their vehicles grazed each other at Khan Market. Neither car was even as much as scratched.
So what makes Delhiites so short-fused?
"Many things — from machismo to impulsiveness — which are a part of every metropolitan city's culture are behind such cases," said Dr Rajesh Sagar, senior psychiatrist at AIIMS.
"People in the city are changing with it. They are increasingly finding it difficult to control any kind of emotion. The absence of proper outlets for these leads to sudden outbursts, which are behind most such crimes," said Dr Rajat Mitra, director, Swanchetan, an NGO working with the Delhi Police.
Experts said a sense of anonymity and alienation among Delhi residents just aggravates the problem.
"Delhi has an anonymous side to it and people don't feel rooted here. There is a sense of detachment. People here tend to lose tempers easily compared to someone in Mumbai or Chennai," said Dr Mitra added.
Psychiatrists believe lack of a proper outlet for anger, as well as the absence of basic information about anger management is to blame.
Delhi Police said such crimes fall under the "non preventable" category and there is no way then can control them.
"On an average, we receive three to four calls related to just road rage in the city, we do not maintain a separate record however," said Deepak Mishra, joint commissioner of police (operations).
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