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‘He shot my brother in chest’: Ola driver killed over parking in Delhi

A 40-year-old cab driver was allegedly shot dead by one of four occupants of a Honda City car after an altercation over right of way in south Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur area in the early hours of Sunday

delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2018 14:06 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Cab driver,Delhi,Ola
Umesh’s death has left his family devoid of a breadwinner. (HT Photo )

A 40-year-old cab driver was allegedly shot dead by one of four occupants of a Honda City car after an altercation over right of way in south Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur area in the early hours of Sunday, police said.

The police said they have substantial leads about the suspects but refused to name them as investigations are not over. The police have recovered footage from nearby CCTV cameras of the car believed have been used in the incident. “The number plate of the car was not captured clearly but we have shortlisted a few possible numbers,” Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (south), said.

The victim was identified as Umesh Sharma, a resident of Sangam Vihar. He lived with his wife and three children – two daughters, aged seven and two, and a five-year-old son. His brother, Surender Sharma, said Umesh had bought a WagonR car a year ago and had been driving for cab aggregator Ola.

The incident happened barely 300 metres from the Kotla Mubarakpur police station, close to the spot where one Akha Salouni, from Manipur, was allegedly beaten to death in a case of road rage in July, 2014.

Usually home by 10pm, Umesh had decided to meet his friend, one Hemant, at the market around midnight.

He parked his car on the side of a 20-feet wide road passing through the market and was seated inside, having snacks with Hemant when the incident occurred.

Throughout Sunday, Hemant was with the police for questioning and was unavailable to speak to media. Surender, however, quoted Hemant that the problem began when a silver coloured Honda City with four occupants scraped past the parked WagonR’s side mirror.

“When my brother objected to the hit, the other car’s occupants abused him and asked him to move his car from the spot. An argument ensued, during which a tall, bearded man emerged from the rear seat of the Honda City, pulled out a pistol and shot my brother in the chest without warning,” Surender quoted Hemant.

The suspect allegedly returned to his car and sped away.

CCTV footage from nearby shops showed a car speeding through the narrow lane moments after the incident. The police said they are looking for the car.

Hemant, meanwhile, made efforts to drive Umesh to a hospital, but realised he had no pulse.

Subsequently, the police were informed.

The DCP said it has been established that the alleged murder was over right of way. “The occupants of the Honda City wanted Umesh to remove his car. The argument leading to the alleged murder was triggered by that,” the DCP said.

The police hope Hemant can provide credible information about the suspects.

“He has been unable to help us. At one point he claimed he had ear phones plugged in at the time of the crime,” the DCP added.

A case for murder has been registered at the Kotla Mubarakpur police station and investigators are probing the role of local criminals. “The suspects were carrying a gun at the time of the murder. They are likely to have a criminal past,” an investigator said.

Umesh’s death left his family devoid of a bread winner. “We were all so happy when he bought the car. Our entire family took a selfie inside it on the first day. We believed it would bring prosperity to our family,” Umesh’s wife Geeta said.

A spokesperson for Ola said the firm will help the police in investigations. “We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic death of our driver partner. We will be extending our support to the police authorities to help them in the investigation,” the Ola official said.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 03:07 IST