AAP MLA’s aide seen leading mob that thrashed 2 for molesting women in Delhi
A video clip shows an associate of local MLA ‘leading’ attack
Two days after a suspected thief was lynched in outer Delhi’s Aman Vihar, a video of two other men being thrashed by a mob in a separate part of the same neighbourhood emerged on Sunday. The 17-day-old video showed a group of around 40-50 people using sticks to thrash the men in the presence of a few policemen, at least one of who was seen trying to thwart the attack at one point.
Police said that the mob was agitated because the duo, along with three others, had allegedly molested two women, including a minor girl, in separate incidents during the Chhath Puja on the morning of November 14. “Some of them have a long past record of harassing minor girls, snatching and robbery,” said Seju P Kuruvilla, deputy commissioner of police (outer).
The short video clips of the incident also showed an associate of Kirari MLA Rituraj Govind allegedly leading the attack. The MLA has defended his associate, saying he was agitated because they had allegedly misbehaved with his sister as well. While the five suspects, including a juvenile, were booked for molestation and sent to judicial custody, the police haven’t registered a case against anyone in the mob.
According to the police, the most notorious among the five suspects are siblings Vikas and Monu. They live in Kirari of Aman Vihar. The police said that the people in their neighbourhood were “fed up” with them.
“In November, local residents had met to discuss the menace of the two brothers,” said a senior police officer.
On November 14, the police received a call about five men creating a “ruckus” at the Chhath Puja in Kirari’s Hind Vihar Colony. These included the two siblings and their three friends, including a juvenile. “They were caught by the public for molesting a woman and thrashed before we reached the spot,” said DCP.
The subsequent probe revealed that minutes earlier they had allegedly molested another 17-year-old girl and tried to kidnap her, said the officer.
“We had taken them into custody. But Vikas and one other suspect, Sandeep, tried to escape from our custody. We chased and caught them despite Vikas jumping into a drain,” the DCP said.
The officer said that a mob of 40-50 people soon arrived at the spot and began thrashing Vikas and Sandeep using sticks. He denied certain media reports that the sticks used in the assault were police lathis.
One video showed the two men without shirts as the mob rained lathis on them. “Sir bachao (help me),” one of them pleaded with a policeman. While one policeman strolled around, another was seen making a meek effort to stop a lathi blow. Another video showed a policeman actively trying to take on a lathi-wielding man while someone in the mob urged the assailants not to strike on the head.
When HT asked Govind about people taking law into their hands, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA said that the “local people are happy” (with the mob action). “They (arrested men) are habitual offenders, rapists and molesters. We will not compromise with dignity and respect of our women folks,” said Govind.
Commenting on the incident, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said, “The question arises that even if the men who were assaulted are criminals, who has given AAP leaders rights to take law in their own hands? Do the AAP leaders treat themselves to be the guardians of law?”
Tiwari alleged that there may be a matter of personal enmity between two sides. However, the AAP MLA dismissed the allegations that his associate had personal enmity with thrashed men.