Squabble over use of 100W bulb ends in tenant’s death in Delhi
The e-rickshaw driver, 35-year-old Jagdesh from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, lived in the house for the last two years with his wife, Varsha, and their eight-year-old daughter.Updated: May 25, 2020 16:27 IST
A petty argument over the use of a 100 watt bulb between a homeowner and his tenant took a violent turn on Friday when an e-rickshaw driver died after he was allegedly slapped by his landlord and, while reeling from the impact, his head hit the wooden armrest of a sofa, police said.
The e-rickshaw driver, 35-year-old Jagdesh from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, lived in the house for the last two years with his wife, Varsha, and their eight-year-old daughter.
The homeowner, Amit, has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, and has been arrested, said Ved Prakash Surya, deputy commissioner of police (north-east).
“Jagdesh would drive a rented e-rickshaw to make a living. His wife is a homemaker. During the lockdown, they had not been earning anything, but they didn’t go back to Aligarh as we have no work back home. Jagdesh was expecting work to resume soon,” said a second senior police officer familiar with the case who asked not to be named.
They paid a monthly rent of ₹5,000, which included the electricity bill. “Their owner of the house is a blacksmith, and he too hadn’t been earning anything either during the lockdown. He wanted to keep the electricity bills low to save money,” the second officer said.
According to the police complaint, at around 7pm on Friday, Amit walked up to Jagdesh’s flat and found his wife using a 100 watt bulb. “He got angry with me for using that bulb. I tried to tell him that I needed more light for cooking, but he removed the bulb and left,” Varsha said to the police in her statement. She also alleged that Amit was drunk at that time, but police could not substantiate this allegation.
According to Varsha, Amit returned with a bulb that consumed less power sometime later but began scolding her again. “My husband who was lying down on a broken sofa placed on the terrace at that time asked him not to scream. That made Amit angry. He walked to the terrace and slapped my husband hard,” she alleged.
As per the allegations made by Varsha, the slap caused Jagdesh to fall, and his head to hit the wooden armrest of the broken sofa. “He fell unconscious. I sought help from a relative to take him to GTB hospital in his e-rickshaw,” said Varsha in her complaint.
Jagdesh succumbed to his injuries on Saturday at the hospital. The police quoted a doctor as saying that he died of head injuries. Amit was arrested shortly afterwards and his statement recorded. According to the police, he said that he wanted to lower power consumption, as he was financially distressed due to slowdown in business.