A lazy Sunday afternoon turned into a nightmare for the family of 57-year-old Rajinder Bhatia who was killed after a minor argument with a neighbour over parking space in west Delhi’s Patel Nagar.
Bhatia’s family members said parking was not the only issue over which they had arguments with their second-floor neighbour, Karthik. “In the past, we have had arguments with him over water supply. He insisted he needed the keys to the terrace some months back so that he could keep a tab on our water supply. The terrace belongs to us and we do not have a problem letting the neighbours use it but he threatened us and so we refused to give him the keys,” said Mokshit Bhatia, Rajinder’s younger son.
On Saturday, Karthik had allegedly asked Bhatia to remove his car from where it was parked. This led to an argument after which the accused claimed that he had other ways of removing the car, but the family did not take him seriously. The family owns two cars that are generally parked outside their gate.
On Sunday, Karthik, his mother and 20-25 men, including a property dealer identified as Ashok Oberoi, came and started beating up Bhatia and his wife Sunita.
“Over 25 people came to the gate and started screaming and abusing. They broke the latch and got inside. They held Rajinderji’s collar and first hit him on his chest and when Sunitaji tried to stop them they hit her too,” said a relative.
Neighbours claim that seeing so many people before his house, Bhatia probably had a heart attack out of fear. When Bhatia fell down after he was punched, the group escaped. He was rushed to B L Kapoor Hospital where the doctors declared him dead.
In 2006, the family had sold the second floor to builders. Karthik had recentlly acquired the second floor and since he moved in, neighbours allege that he has been involved in arguments.