In a case of suspected custodial death, a 45 year old readymade garment hawker, who used to run his business at a Tehbazari site in south Delhi, died after he suffered a cardiac arrest at a police station on Thursday night.
The victim, Om Prakash Arya, was involved in an argument with New Delhi Municipal Corporation's (NDMC) enforcement department officials.
According to the police, the incident occurred at around 7:30 pm in Sarojini Nagar market where a team of NDMC's enforcement department, led by local police, had gone to remove unauthorised constructions in the market. The shopkeepers and a few members of the market association alleged that the victim died in the police custody.
On Thursday night, when he was not at his shop the NDMC team reached the market to remove encroachments.
Sandeep Kumar Yadav, one of Arya's staff, said, "They came to our shop and started seizing our property, saying we had expanded our shop on unauthorised land of NDMC. In the meantime my employer reached the shop and requested them not to seize the property but they refused.”
According to Yadav, Arya had a fight with the NDMC inspector after which he alleged that the local police took him to the police station.
Ashok Randhawa, the President of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association, said Arya complained about his deteriorating health and requested the policemen to take him to the hospital. Randhawa alleged that Arya was not taken to the hospital until he started vomiting and collapsed.
“Arya was taken to the hospital in an auto rickshaw by a policeman who dropped him outside the emergency ward and left. It was Arya's brother Guddu who admitted him in the hospital where the doctors told him that the victim had suffered a cardiac arrest around an hour ago. Arya died at around 4 am at the hospital,” said Randhawa.
However no post mortem was conducted and the body was later handed over to the family who cremated him.