A 38-year-old man working for a private company was killed and three others injured when they were allegedly attacked by local residents in southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh on Saturday.
Police said the locals believed the four were cattle thieves from Haryana’s Mewat region, who are infamous for cattle thefts in the border areas of the Capital. However, it was later learnt that the victims worked with a private company under contract with South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to pick up carcass and stray animals.
The incident led to a riot-like situation in the area for three hours in which at least 10 persons, including five policemen, were also injured.
The mob also destroyed the official vehicle of Chhawla police station’s SHO and two police control room vans. A case of murder and rioting under several sections of the Indian Penal Code was registered and 10 people were arrested, said a police officer.
The victim has been identified as Shankar, 38. The injured persons were identified as Vijay, Hari Om and Vicky. The five had gone to a ‘gaushala’ in Chhawla to take the bodies of four cows after being informed about their deaths. They put the bodies in a Tata 407 mini-truck and left for Ghazipur dumping ground of MCD.
“The mini-truck had moved barely three kilometres when it was stopped by a PCR van. The police team enquired about the carcass, and suspected the four men to be cattle thieves. The men had all the necessary papers and told the policemen to take them to the police station if they did not believe them,” a police officer said.
However, before the police could let the men off or take them to the station, locals gathered and accused the men of being cattle thieves. The mob soon resorted to stone pelting and attacked the men with sticks. The situation was brought under control by police around 9 pm.
The injured were taken to Safdarjung Hospital, where Shankar was declared dead on arrival. He is survived by his wife and seven children — six daughters and a son.