Man held for beating up vegetable vendor in BadarpurUpdated: Apr 13, 2020 18:52 IST
Delhi Police on Monday arrested a man for allegedly attacking a vegetable vendor with a stick and demanding to see his Aadhaar card in order to ascertain his religion and name. A video of the incident later surfaced on microblogging site Twitter, prompting Delhi Police to swing into action.
Police identified the attacker as Praveen Babbar, who runs a tour and travels agency. He had allegedly attacked the vegetable vendor on Tajpur Road on April 10 and was arrested from Badarpur Extension, where he lives with his family.
A case was registered at Badarpur police station. “Babbar has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code,” said deputy commissioner of police (southeast) RP Meena said.
In the 44-second video, the vendor is seen with a vegetable pushcart. Apart from the attacker and the person making the video, at least three other people are seen at the spot. One of them can be heard threatening the vendor. .
The vegetable vendor, Mohammad Salim, said the attack took place barely 20 metres away from his rented accommodation where he lives with his family. Salim said that his brother was originally selling vegetable on the cart, but had gone to eat lunch. So he was filling in.
“Around 1.30 pm. I was standing near the cart when four men came and one of them asked me my name and demanded my Aadhaar Card. I told him my Aadhaar card was at home. The man started hurling abuses at me as soon as he heard my name. He then grabbed a stick and began assaulting me. He told me not to sell vegetables or come into the neighbourhood,” said Salim.
The vegetable seller said that he did not inform the police or file a complaint, thinking that those men were police personnel. “I was scared and decided not to file a police complaint,” added Salim.
The incident came to light the next day when a video began circulating on Twitter. The Twitter user tagged Delhi Police, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Dwarka, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Malviya Nagar legislator Somnath Bharti sought action from the Delhi Police commissioner tagging him in his tweet.
“.@CPDelhi if your police can bring back stolen purse of niece of PM within 1-2 days, I am sure that this shameless creature can be traced by you. Plz do justice with him and assure Delhi that any and every attempt to divide Delhi on religious lines will be dealt with iron hands (sic),” the AAP legislator tweeted.
On Monday, deputy commissioner of police (southeast) RP Meena responded to the AAP leader’s tweet and tweeted, “Cognizance of the incident has already been taken. FIR has been registered under appropriate sections of law & perpetrator of crime has been arrested. Such incidents shall not be tolerated at any cost & law will take its own course against such persons.”
DCP Meena said that during the probe, the investigators identified the owner of a motorcycle seen in the video and questioned its owner, Sudhanshu. “Sudhansu told us that the incident happened at Tajpur Road and identified the attacker as Praveen Babbar,” said Meena.
Babbar, the DCP added, stated that there were about 10 vendors selling vegetables that area. “He had asked the vegetable vendor to move from there as lockdown had been enforced, but he did not listen. At this Babbar started to beat him up,” the DCP added, quoting Babbar’s statement.
Last week, a similar video of racism pertaining to Covid-19 had surfaced on social media. In the video, a man was seen bleeding from his leg and pleading to his attackers that he was not spreading the virus. The police later found that the incident took place in outer Delhi’s Bawana. Three men were arrested for the incident.
On April 8, two women doctors of a government hospital were allegedly molested and assaulted in south Delhi’s Gulmohar Enclave by a 42-year-old interior designer living in the same neighbourhood.