A 45-year-old homeless man, sleeping on a pavement, was crushed to death and another man injured after a car ran over them in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur late on Monday night.
Police said the car driver, 27-year-old Pankaj, was drunk and has been arrested.
Eyewitnesses said that victim, Kanhaiya, died on the spot. He was sleeping on a pavement near Sai Temple on main Chhatarpur road when the accident took place around 11.10pm. A Swift car going towards Chhatarpur Metro station jumped the pavement and ran him over.
Om Prakash, 40, who was sleeping next to Kanhaiya, was injured in the accident and has been admitted at Safdarjung Hospital.
Jagannath, 40, who runs a tea stall on the same pavement, said the car was speeding and hit one of the corners of a bus stand near the pavement. Later it ran over the victims, hit a boundary wall and stopped.
Pankaj got out of the vehicle and started running. But locals caught him.
Police said Kanhaiya was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared brought dead. A case under relevant sections was registered at Mehrauli police station.
“The accused driver, Pankaj, was arrested. He is a resident of Ghitorni and works as an accountant in a steel shop in Chhatarpur,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (south) Chinmoy Biswal.
Victim had sought shelter
Kanhaiya had been trying to seek refuge in a homeless shelter for a long time. But every time he approached a shelter nearby, he was turned away because he had no identity proof.
So the pavement between Shiv temple and Chhatarpur temple became Kanhaiya’s home. He was a scrap dealer and sometimes worked also as a domestic help in the neighbourhood. He used to keep his behind a bus stand adjacent to the pavement. For breakfast and lunch, he was dependent on the free food distributed at the temples. At night, he used to sleep in a corner on the pavement behind the bus stand.
“There is a shelter for homeless people which is one km away from the pavement. Kanhaiya had gone there few weeks ago. But he came back disappointed. He told us that he could not get accommodation in the shelter since he had no identity proof,” said Rudra Prakash (24), a shopkeeper working on the pavement.
Locals said that Kanhaiya was popular among his friends.
Kanhaiya was one of the few persons who could “read and write English to some extent”, his friends said. He was born in a poor family in Bihar, had studied till Class 10 and later came to Delhi to earn a livelihood. He had been living on the pavement in Chhatarpur for the past five years.