Constable held for assault, kidnap of fruit vendor; hunt on for 2 more suspects
A Delhi Police constable and his friend were arrested for allegedly assaulting a 28-year-old fruit vendor over a road rage, that eventually led to his death, abducting him and dumping his body in a canal in Uttar Pradesh’s Muradnagar on the night of June 4, said police on Thursday.
Deputy commissioner of police (east) Priyanka Kashyap said the constable, Monu Sirohi, who was posted at the Pandav Nagar police station, was dismissed on Thursday. The other arrested man, identified as Harish, repairs air conditioners for a living. Police are on the lookout for two more suspects, identified as Vikas and Vineet, who were involved in the alleged attack.
The crime came to the fore on July 20, nearly 46 days later, when a 3.06 minute-long video, which shows four men assaulting the victim, identified as Ajeet Kumar, and his friend Atul, came to the attention of police officers.
The alleged assault and kidnapping happened in New Kondli area, that falls under the jurisdiction of New Ashok Nagar police station in east district. On Thursday, the station house officer (SHO) of New Ashok Nagar police station was suspended and sent to district lines for alleged negligence in handling Kumar’s missing complaint that was filed by his family members on June 13--nine days after he went missing. They filed another complaint on June 15, in which they suspected that Kumar may have been abducted and killed, said police.
When contacted, Ajeet’s brother Ashok said, “My brother was missing since June 4. Initially, we thought he went to some relative’s house but when he did not return, we filed a complaint where we told police that a neighbour may have had a hand in my brother’s disappearance as he used to threaten us and pass casteist remarks. Instead of finding my brother, the policeman handling our case wanted us to withdraw the complaint and put pressure on us to sign a compromise letter.”
A police officer, who did not wish to be identified, said, “The neighbour was examined on July 20, after Kumar’s family filed a complaint with the lieutenant governor’s office for no action on their missing complaint. The complaint was also marked to senior police officers, who sought a report on the action taken from the concerned police station.”
“The local police then contacted the neighbour, who not only denied his involvement but also shared a video clip in which four men can be seen beating up Kumar and Atul. The neighbour shot the video on his mobile phone,” said the officer.
After seeing the video, the district’s special staff was tasked to investigate the case and identify the people involved in the attack. The investigating team traced the ownership of the Swift car into which Kumar was shoved and found it was registered in the name of Sirohi. A police team also went to Atul’s house and learnt that he had gone out of the city a few days ago but did not tell anyone about the assault.
“Sirohi was asked to join the investigation. He initially denied his involvement but eventually confessed to his crime when we confronted him with the video clip. His interrogation led to Harish’s arrest. They confessed that Kumar died because of the assault and that they dumped his body in a canal in Muradnagar along with two of their associates to hide the crime,” said the officer.
Police informed that Atul, in his statement, said he knew Kumar was assaulted and bundled in a car but remained silent because he knew the assaulter was a policeman and feared that he might be booked in a false case. Atul had managed to flee the spot where the alleged assault took place.
DCP Kashyap said a case under Sections 364 (kidnapping in order to murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) has been registered against the suspects.
Another police officer said Sirohi, who lives in a barrack of the New Ashok Nagar police station, and Harish told police that on June 4, they consumed alcohol and went to New Kondli to buy food. “They said Kumar hit the car’s hood with his hand, which infuriated them, and that led to an altercation,” said the officer.
“Following the altercation, the four, including Sirohi, assaulted Kumar and Atul and abducted the former. Kumar’s body is yet to be traced. The car used in the crime has been recovered,” said Kashyap.