Murder over public urination: 5 students who lynched e-rickshaw driver still on the run
The Delhi Police have conducted raids to nab the five students who were allegedly a part of the group that lynched an e-rickshaw driver in north Delhi last week. Two other accused have already been caught.delhi Updated: Jun 02, 2017 23:13 IST
Four teams of the northwest district police have conducted raids at their possible hideouts in Delhi and adjoining states over the last three days. Police say they are not habitual criminals but students.
“We are questioning their family members, relatives, neighbours and friends to locate and nab the five accused. They will be caught soon,” said Milind Dumbre, deputy commissioner of police (northwest). Police had arrested Shekhar Kapasia, a second year student of Aurobindo College, on Wednesday. He led them to another accused, a juvenile, who was then caught in north campus.
On Saturday, at around 1.30pm, Ravinder Kumar (32), was about to begin his lunch in his e-rickshaw when he noticed two teenagers urinating on the roadside near the GTB Metro station. Ravinder used his usual methods of embarrassing them. He offered to pay Rs 2 each, the cost of using the public toilet located just a few steps away from where they were urinating.
The two youths, however, entered into an argument with him. Before leaving the spot, they threated him and said they would return soon and “disfigure his face”.
Seven hours later, they returned with 10-15 friends and beat him to death with iron knuckles and stones wrapped in towels. The group fled when Ravinder collapsed. Ravinder’s family members rushed him to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries during treatment.
A case of murder was registered and investigation was taken up. Investigators recorded statements of the eyewitnesses including other e-rickshaw drivers who were also thrashed by the attackers when they tried to intervene. The police learnt that two of the attackers were the same teenagers with whom Ravinder had an altercation over urination in the afternoon.
The investigating team collected the CCTV footage of the liquor shop from where the two had purchased beer cans. The footage was examined and the two were seen leaving the shop with beer cans. Soon, investigators found another e-rickshaw driver who had dropped the two at Kirori Mal College after the argument.
“The e-rickshaw driver told us that the teenagers had taken details about Ravinder — ‘the man in green shirt’, after pointing their fingers at him. He had heard Shekhar asking the teenager to inform their friends about the incident and organise them to settle scores with Ravinder after his exam in the evening,” an investigator said, adding that the driver identified the two when he was shown the video footage.
During the probe, the police reached the college where Shekhar had appeared in an exam and collected details about him. They raided his rented house in north Delhi’s Sant Nagar but he was missing. Further probe revealed that Shekhar belonged to Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and he could be hiding there. A raid was conducted there and Shekhar was caught on Tuesday. “His interrogation helped us apprehend the alleged juvenile accused,” the officer said.
During the interrogation, Shekhar disclosed that they felt offended and humiliated when the e-rickshaw driver embarrassed them by offering money for using a public toilet.
Shekhar reportedly told investigators that after the examination he was in two minds about the plan to teach Ravinder a lesson. But when the teenager called him and reminded him about his commitment, he decided to go ahead.
According to the officer, the attackers used stones wrapped in a towel to avoid confrontation from other e-rickshaw drivers and locals while attacking Ravinder. They even threatened to open fire if anybody tried to intervene.
Shekhar has reportedly told the police that he panicked when he saw the news on TV channels. He informed all his friends and advised all of them to go underground. Thinking that the police may not trace him, Shekhar fled to his home town. He was planning to shift to some other place but was apprehended by the cops.