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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Delhi auto driver stabbed to death by 4 minors over fare dispute near Connaught Place

While one of the suspects was caught near the crime spot and thrashed by the public before being handed over to the police, two others were caught by the police later. The fourth suspect is on the run.

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2018 23:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
The family of Jahangir Alam, the auto driver who was stabbed to death at Connaught Place in New Delhi on Sunday.
The family of Jahangir Alam, the auto driver who was stabbed to death at Connaught Place in New Delhi on Sunday. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

In the heart of Lutyens Delhi, a stone’s throw from India Gate, four minors, all male, stabbed to death a 26-year old autorickshaw driver because of a dispute over the fare.

The incident happened late on Sunday night at Kasturba Gandhi Marg – the offices of this newspaper are located there – near Connaught Place. According to policemen, the auto driver demanded ~20 each from the boys as “night charge” in addition to the fare. An argument ensued during which he was stabbed.

Despite suffering a deep stab wound in his chest and bleeding profusely, the auto driver drove his vehicle for almost half a kilometre on KG Marg, in a bid to admit himself to the nearest hospital. He collapsed near KG Marg-Connaught Place outer circle intersection, soon after he met a policeman on bike patrol to whom he narrated his ordeal.

The auto driver was rushed to the nearby Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital where he succumbed to the stab injury during treatment. He has been identified as Jahangir Alam, a native of Malda district in West Bengal. Alam was living in a rented room at Delhi’s Zakir Nagar in Jamia Nagar.

While one of the suspects was caught near the scene of the crime and thrashed by the public before being handed over to the police, the other three were caught by the police later following raids at their possible hideouts in south Delhi’s Dakshinpuri, said Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi).

“All the accused have been apprehended. They are all juveniles and between the age of 16 and 17 years. The button activated knife that was used to kill the auto driver has been recovered. A case of murder was registered against them as well as one under the arms act,” said Verma, adding that the police would request the court concerned to treat the accused as adults.

Alam’s relatives and friends said the four boys boarded his autorickshaw from Khanpur to Moolchand, where they planned to eat paranthas.

Moolchand is a hotspot for late night revellers looking for a bite to eat. The boys agreed to pay ~120 for the ride.

“They reached Moolchand flyover and found the eatery closed. The four then asked Alam to drop them at Connaught Place,” said HM Shamim Akhtar, Alam’s relative.

“When the auto reached the Ferozshah Road-KG Marg intersection, there was an argument over ~20 each passenger had to pay as night fare. Alam threatened to drop them there itself, and one of the boys stabbed him.”

Alam’s friend, Manirul Islam, said the attackers tried to flee when Alam raised an alarm and screamed for help. His screams grabbed the attention of drivers of some other autorickshaws parked nearby and the security guards of government flats.

“One of the guards pointed his gun at the main attacker and threatened to kill him if he fled. The other auto drivers caught him and beat him up before handing him over to the police. His three friends managed to flee,” said Islam.

DCP Verma said Alam drove his auto towards Connaught Place and stopped near “Local” pub, after seeing a head constable on bike patrol. “Alam described the crime and collapsed. The policeman called the police control room and Alam was rushed to RML hospital where he died during treatment,” added the DCP.

Police said that while the auto driver was crying for help, many passersby took photographs and videos rather than helping them rush the man to hospital.

They said they have not ruled out the possibility that Alam was killed during a robbery bid, although the four boys have confessed that the argument was over the extra fare.

First Published: Oct 08, 2018 10:57 IST