A 75-year-old retired government employee has been allegedly beaten to death by his alcoholic son for not filling up the water tank at their residence in Bindapur in southwest Delhi.
Though most neighbours preferred to stay indoors, a couple of locals, who tried to rescue the elderly man, Ram Kumar, said his son warned them against interfering. The assault on Friday night stopped only when the victim, unable to bear the brutal blows and the stranglehold on his neck, collapsed.
Though the accused – 40-year-old Chetan Kumar – came to his senses and rushed his father to a nearby private hospital soon afterwards, it was already a little too late. Doctors at the establishment declared him dead on arrival.
Chetan was arrested after his 14-year-old daughter told police that he was responsible for the crime. The accused’s 12-year-old son was also present at the time of the incident.
Kumar, a retired MTNL lineman, owned a four-storey building at a congested locality in Bindapur’s Khushi Ram Park area. His alcoholic son, Chetan, had gained notoriety in the locality as somebody who harassed women while returning home drunk. He used to drive an e-rickshaw for a living.
Several neighbours alleged that Chetan assaulted his wife frequently, forcing her to approach the Delhi Police’s women’s cell. “His wife started living separately with their youngest son around two months ago,” said a senior police officer.
In the absence of his wife, Chetan allegedly forced his father to do the household chores and take care of his two children. “Chetan would abuse his father and threaten to beat him up every time he failed to do work around the house,” alleged Payal, a neighbour.
On Friday, Chetan returned home around 10 pm in an inebriated state only to find that the water tank hadn’t been filled. “He refused to believe Ram Kumar when the latter said the locality did not receive any water supply that evening,” said Rajni, another neighbour, adding that even his father’s assurances that there was enough drinking water failed to calm him.
When the retired government employee objected to being verbally abused, Chetan allegedly began beating him up. “He punched Kumar repeatedly on his head and chest, and even tried to strangle him. He kept beating the old man until he collapsed,” Rajni added.
Most neighbours decided against intervening, thinking that it was just a family squabble. “Moreover, we were scared because Chetan usually carries a knife with him. A few people tried to reason with him, but he told them that it was a domestic issue,” said Mamata, who lives nearby.
DCP (southwest) Surender Kumar confirmed Chetan’s arrest, and said an investigation was on.