More than 20 men allegedly thrashed three youngsters, poured petrol over them and threatened to set them on fire after a minor argument at a filling station in west Delhi late on Sunday.
The victims, including two teenagers, were reportedly injured and taken to a hospital. Their relatives lodged a police complaint but no case was registered till Monday evening, said Sharad Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (west). “Preliminary investigations are on,” he said.
Three friends — Harman Preet Singh (18), Jasmeet Singh (17) and Tarun Gupta (20) — were on a late night drive when the incident happened. Jasmeet is taking his Class XII Board exams and Tarun is pursuing B.Com from Delhi University.
They had stopped to refuel Harman's Maruti 800 car at a petrol pump in Subhash Nagar when the trouble began, said an officer. Two men, Amit Kumar and Jugnu, on a scooter came to refuel their two-wheeler.
“Their scooter bumped into the car. The two parties started arguing and began abusing each other. The vehicles were not damaged and the boys had no apparent reason to fight,” said an officer.
The altercation turned ugly when Amit and Jugnu reportedly phoned their friends and called them to 'settle' the issue, said Harman. A few minutes later, cars packed with youngsters came to the petrol pump. “Several drunk people came out and started beating us,” said Harman.
A few assailants then allegedly took hold of a pipe and soaked the three youngsters in petrol. Tarun's brother Tushar, who was reportedly passing by, tried to intervene but to no avail.
“The victims have alleged that the assailants tried to set them and their car afire but we are verifying this allegation. We have also found out that both the parties are known to each other. They have fought before too,” said an officer.
The victims said a few pump attendants intervened in time. “One of the attendants switched off the main supply and that prevented the problem from worsening,” said an officer.