‘Drunk’ man in SUV mows down 4-homeless sleeping on Delhi footpath, 1 dead
A 32-year-old homeless man was killed and three others were injured, one of them critically, when a speeding sports utility vehicle (SUV) driven by an allegedly drunk representative of a foreign university ran over them as they slept on a road divider in south Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin, outside the local police station, early on Friday, the police said.
The driver of the SUV, identified as Abhishek Dutt, was arrested from the site. He was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, deputy commissioner of police (southeast) Chinmoy Biswal said.
“He was heavily drunk at the time of the mishap and alone in the vehicle. We arrested him and sent him to jail. His vehicle was also impounded,” added Biswal.
Police said Dutt was on his way home on west Delhi’s Pankha Road, near the Hari Nagar neighbourhood after attending a party at a friend’s place in the Ashram area.
Dutt lost control of the SUV and it climbed onto the concrete central verge right outside the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station near Neela Gumbad (Subz Burj) roundabout, the police said.
“As many as a dozen homeless people were sleeping on the narrow central verge when the accident took place around 3 am. The front right wheel of the SUV climbed onto the road divider and crushed four of them. The SUV travelled about 10 metres on the road divider before it came back on to the road. More casualties would have been reported had the SUV’s tyre not burst,” said a police officer who asked not to be identified.
The dead homeless man was identified as Arif.
The SUV’s wheel crushed his head and chest, killing him on the spot.
The injured were identified as Naushad, Sheikh Saju, and Shahid, between the ages of 20 and 40 years. They suffered injuries in their limbs and chest.
“All of them were admitted to AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Trauma Centre. The condition of Naushad is serious,” the officer cited above said.
Police said Arif’s mother, wife and children were sleeping on a footpath on the road towards Lodhi Road near the roundabout when the accident took place.
An officer from the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station said the police staff usually prevent the homeless from sleeping on the central verge as the space is very small and narrow.
“During the summer, the number of homeless people sleeping on the pavements increases and some end up sleeping on the concrete central verge. They claim that the speed of the passing vehicles increases the wind’s speed and brings them respite from heat,” the officer added.
Delhi Police statistic show that 674 people were killed in road accidents this year till June 15.
According to the data, the number of deaths was 30 fewer than in the same period last year, when 704 people were killed in road accidents.
A total of 1,657 road accident deaths were reported in 2018 in the national capital.