In Bawana, man beaten to death as crowd watches
A 21-year-old man was allegedly beaten to death in the early hours of Tuesday on suspicion of being a thief, even as more than two dozen people stood and watched in outer Delhi’s Bawana.
Gaurav Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (outernorth) said that the death of the man, identified as Sahil Verma, was caused by injuries sustained from a fall from the roof of the house he was allegedly trying to break into. “Sahil was a drug addict and was very frail. He was just slapped a couple of times, but he couldn’t take the trauma,” said DCP Sharma.
The victim’s friend, Ravi, who was an eyewitness to the crime, however, told the police in his statement that Sahil was “assaulted with a stick by a man and kicked and punched by his wife”.
When Ravi tried to intervene and save his friend, he too was allegedly slapped by an onlooker and forced to leave.
The DCP said that a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered and a man named Mantosh(identified only by his single name) has been arrested.
This is the third instance of a suspected thief being killed by the public in the outernorth part of the city since March this year. On March 13, a woman rag picker was allegedly beaten to death by a mob in Samaypur Badli on suspicion of stealing from a factory. The victim’s colleague had managed to escape by locking herself in a toilet and was later arrested for theft.
Less than a month later, on April 11, another suspected thief was beaten to death by the staff of a Narela farmhouse where he was allegedly trying to break into. While the FIR in the case had mentioned physical injuries, DCP Sharma had said that the man was a smack addict who had died “after displaying withdrawal symptoms”.
In Tuesday’s case, police said the victim was a goods loader and worked in Narela Industrial Area. His mother, Rani, said that he was into drugs and revealed that he was arrested in 2016 for trying to rob someone.
“But my son was not a thief, he worked hard everyday,” Rani said, adding that her son had left home to relieve himself around 10pm on Monday.
But as it turned out, Sahil had gone out to consume drugs, claimed his younger brother, Pintu.
Another eyewitness, who didn’t want to identify herself, said that Sahil was very intoxicated and walked to the stairs of another house in the neighbourhood and sat there. “He later started banging on the door of that house. Mantosh and his wife, who live in that house, suspected him of trying to break in and began thrashing him,” said the woman.
Around 2am on Tuesday, Ravi noticed that a crowd had gathered and someone was being trashed by a couple. “Mantosh was beating him with a stick. His wife was kicking and punching him. They were accusing him of climbing the terrace to steal from their house,” said Ravi, adding that there were at least 30 people who stood there watching the assault.
Ravi said that he tried to intervene but was threatened and asked to leave.
A local later called the police.
Ravi said that Sahil made several failed attempts to escape the assault by climbing the house’s terrace, from which he later fell down. By the time Sahil’s mother and friends arrived at the spot, he was bleeding heavily. “He asked me for water. In his last moments, he asked me to save him. A police team later reached the spot and rushed Sahil to Maharishi Valmiki Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” said Rani.