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Home / Delhi News / Building roof collapses, elderly man dies as 2 families fight over AC heat

Building roof collapses, elderly man dies as 2 families fight over AC heat

Police said the elderly man, Dharampal Singh, died after being thrown off the terrace by three to four men, who also thrashed his son and left him injured. To escape the assault, the elderly man’s nephew jumped on to the roof an adjacent house, but that roof collapsed under his weight and he got injured.

delhi Updated: Sep 17, 2020 02:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
When Dev Kumar’s father tried to intervene, the assaulters allegedly flung him off the terrace of the two-storey house. He fell on to the roof the adjacent building and sustained serious head injuries.
When Dev Kumar’s father tried to intervene, the assaulters allegedly flung him off the terrace of the two-storey house. He fell on to the roof the adjacent building and sustained serious head injuries. (HT Archives. Representative image)

A quarrel over an air-conditioner blowing hot air into a neighbour’s house turned into a full-blown assault that left a 60-year-old man dead, caused the roof of a nearby house to collapse, and injured two persons in East Delhi’s NSA Colony on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Police said the elderly man, Dharampal Singh, died after being thrown off the terrace by three to four men, who also thrashed his son and left him injured. To escape the assault, the elderly man’s nephew jumped on to the roof an adjacent house, but that roof collapsed under his weight and he got injured.

Amit Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara), said so far, one man, identified by his first name Dharmender, has been arrested and a hunt is on for three to four more suspects.

The DCP said an FIR has been registered at Farsh Bazar police station under the Indian Penal Code sections of murder, causing hurt, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.

Explaining the sequence of events, police said Singh lived with his two sons, Dev Kumar and Babulal, who have their own businesses and Dharmender lived next door.

Like the other houses in the densely populated neighbourhood, Singh’s house faced Dharmender’s. “Their houses were so close that when Dharmender installed an air-conditioner a few months ago, the hot air from the rear of the AC was blowing straight into Singh’s house,” an investigator associated with the case said.

This became the reason for frequent fights between the two families. “When Dharmender’s family refused to remove their AC, we also got an AC installed in our house,” 28-year-old Dev Kumar told the police.

That only escalated the matter. The dispute took a murderous turn around 2.30pm on Tuesday when Dev Kumar returned home to find Dharmender’s family and friends allegedly fighting with Babulal over the AC issue.

“We hurled abuses at each other before my brother and I went to the terrace to stop the fight from escalating. Soon, four to five relatives and friends of Dharmender barged into our house, reached the terrace and started beating us with helmets and sticks,” Dev Kumar said.

When Dev Kumar’s father tried to intervene, the assaulters allegedly flung him off the terrace of the two-storey house. He fell on to the roof the adjacent building and sustained serious head injuries.

“Dharmender’s nephew, Arun, tried to escape the assault by jumping on to another neighbour’s terrace, but his leap caused the roof of that building to collapse and Arun was injured,” Dev Kumar said in his police complaint.

Dev Kumar said the assault only ended when the police the reached the spot and the assailants fled.

An unconscious Singh and his son Kumar were rushed to the hospital where the father succumbed to injuries. The DCP said the arrested accused, Dharmender, was involved in instigating the assaulters.

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