The 18-year-old e-rickshaw operator who was set on fire at Delhi-Ghaziabad border on October 25 died on Tuesday evening in a Delhi hospital, where he was being treated. The victim’s family placed the body at Surya Nagar intersection around 1pm and protested against the police for three hours.
Umesh was battling for life at GTB Hospital in Delhi since he sustained critical burn injuries at the hands of the prime accused, Pawan Raghav. Raghav is alleged to have poured petrol on Umesh from a bucket and set him on fire with a lighter near the Ramprastha border police check post.
“Umesh died of burns and infection. Earlier, we had lodged an FIR for attempt to murder which will now be changed to sections of murder. In his dying declaration, he named Pawan to be behind the incident,” Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police (city), said.
The family blocked the intersection for nearly three hours and demanded the arrest of three more persons who they allege were also a part of the plan to kill Umesh. Following the incident, Pawan was arrested and the police had said Umesh and Pawan had an altercation over a year ago, leading to Pawan taking such a drastic step.
Pinky, Umesh’s sister, said, “My brother had told me that he had an altercation with three-four men and Pawan had come to intervene. This incident took place over a year ago. So far, the police have arrested only Pawan while they have not been able to investigate the role of the other persons.”
Friends of the victim’s family and residents of their locality, in hundreds, also blocked vehicles after placing the body at the intersection. As the crowd increased in size, the police and administrative officials came to the spot and tried to pacify the protesters but the family did not allow the body to be moved.
“We have assured the victim’s family that if any other persons are found to be behind the incident, legal action will be taken,” Priti Jaiswal, additional district magistrate (city) who was on the spot, said.
“If the family belongs to the SC/ST category, they will get Rs.8 lakh compensation in two instalments as per the procedure. Otherwise, they will get Rs.30,000,” Jaiswal said.
Around 4pm, the police arranged a vehicle to take the body to the cremation ground. However, the victim’s family said that the police had tricked them.
“The police and officials earlier promised all help and were ready to give us in writing that the culprits will be arrested and that we will be compensated. After this, they moved the body forcibly and also beat up those who were protesting,” Anita, Umesh’s aunt, said.