The family of a teenage golf caddie has alleged that their boy was beaten to death in police custody in southwest Delhi on Wednesday.
The victim, Vicky (19), worked at the Army Golf Club in Delhi Cantonment, and lived in Jhareda village nearby. He had no father, and was the sole earning member of a family that had his mother, two brothers and a sister.
People from the family’s neighbourhood raised slogans, threw stones and blocked traffic in front of the Delhi Cantonment police station on Thursday. Extra forces and the Rapid Action Force were called in to scatter the crowd.
Police said Vicky had a history of petty crime and admitted having picked him up, but denied assaulting him. “He was involved in three snatching cases last year and had been arrested once. A magisterial inquiry is under way to probe his death,” said an officer.
Vicky’s mother Babli, however, said her son had never been involved in crime. She said the police had been visiting the family repeatedly, and picked up Vicky from the golf club at 11.15 am on Wednesday.
“They visited our house several times in the last three days. They kept asking about Vicky. We did not know what was happening,” Babli said.
Vicky’s colleague at the club, Twinkle Verma, saw five policemen take Vicky away. “We were chatting when a few officers dragged him away, thrashing him all the way to their car,” he said.
Police said they had picked up Vicky after being “tipped off” about him. “A team picked him from the golf club's parking area. On the way to the police station, he complained of a stomach ache. We immediately took him to Safdarjang hospital where he was treated at the Intensive Care Unit. He died in the evening,” said an officer.
Vicky's sister Preeti, however, said the police had been changing their story. “They first told us my brother had been injured in an accident. When we reached the hospital, they took us to the mortuary. Then they said he had complained of stomach ache,” Preeti said.
Babli said that her son's body bore injury marks, suggesting he had been beaten badly.
“We saw his body. It had hurt marks all over. My boy has been killed. I want justice,” she said.
The autopsy report is awaited.