One man's refusal to share his pack of cigarettes in a south Delhi neighbourhood, another's to accede to a local drunkard's demand for cash and a traffic constable's insistence on doing his job have become invitations to murderous rage.
Assailants with short fuses got ticked-off at the slightest of provocation, leaving their victims gasping for breath in three almost back-to-back incidents reported from south Delhi this week.
The first incident was reported from Fatehpur Beri on Sunday which saw a 22-year-old truck driver being mercilessly assaulted and humiliated in public when he refused to loan a local drunkard some money.
"Mohammad Shakir, the victim, was returning home around 3:30pm on June 10 when he was waylaid by one Imran, a local drunkard," admitted a senior police officer."Imran demanded money from Shakir to buy liquor but the latter refused. Imran stabbed him in the face with a key and assaulted him with a brick." Just seven hours later, Salim Khanikar, a resident of Amar Colony's Paryavaran Complex, was beaten black and blue by two men before robbing him at knifepoint.
The assault, Khanikar told police, seemed to have been triggered by his refusal to offer a stranger a smoke outside the East of Kailash Community centre around 10:30pm.
"I had to drive down to Essex Farms for some work around midnight and, since I had some time on my hands on the way, I stopped outside a park for a smoke," Khanikar told police.
Almost immediately, a man approached him and asked for a cigarette. He refused and blows began raining on him. Soon, another stranger armed with a knife walked up to Khanikar, snatched his phone and walked away.