Murder over public urination: What happened to him shouldn’t happen to anyone else, says brother of e-rick driver
A 32-year-old e-rickshaw driver objected to youths urinating on the roadside near GTB metro station. The youths returned with their friends and allegedly thrashed the driver leading to his death.delhi Updated: Jun 02, 2017 23:15 IST
India’s collective conscience was shaken on May 27, when an economically weak, financially unsound and uneducated e-rickshaw driver, Ravinder Kumar, was beaten to death by two Delhi University students and their friends over stopping them from urinating in public.
Many a times, socio economic backgrounds and one’s education has been cited as reasons for unclean surroundings in many parts of India and Delhi. However, Kumar, a resident of JJ Cluster slum colony in GTB Nagar has been a bastion of cleanliness according to his family and friends.
“My brother has always paid attention to cleanliness. He would never go to work without taking a shower or changing his clothes. In fact, he would tell others at the (rickshaw) stand too to ensure that they are always well dressed and shower regularly. He lost his life because he asked two boys to stop urinating in public. It is your thoughts that make you ‘rich’ or ‘poor;’ not your money or wealth,” recalls Rajesh (who goes by his first name), Kumar’s older brother.
It was a sombre affair at Kumar’s household on Friday, almost a week after his untimely death. He is survived by three brothers, a mother and a pregnant wife.
“Our mother and his wife are not in a condition to talk to anybody. My mother just stares blankly into space, and cries silently. My sister-in-law has also been very disturbed ever since. I am the eldest. I cannot afford to break down. I have to hold it together for everybody else’s sake,” explained Rajesh.
The 31-year-old son of a retired Delhi Police constable worked in a private sector company before he was diagnosed with jaundice almost a year ago. “I had two rickshaws, and asked him to help me out with it. He was not strong enough to work in the private sector after his bout of jaundice. I did not realise this would happen if he started riding rickshaws,” said Rajesh.
Fighting back tears, Rajesh still struggles to fathom what must have driven the youngsters to react in such a brutal manner. “They need to change their attitude. I hope what happened to my brother does not happen to anybody else. There was no justification for so much violence?” he said, before adding that he hopes that all responsible are punished by law.
Since his death, Kumar’s family has received support from multiple avenues. The Delhi government has offered the family Rs5 lakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a cheque of Rs1 lakh, and the minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation, Venkaiah Naidu, has also given them Rs50,000. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has also offered to provide Kumar’s wife with 89 days of employment, before trying to get her a more permanent position, according to Rajesh.
However, no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of his brother’s life, said the 36-year-old, who also drives an e-rickshaw in the area.
“I have sung lullabies and put my brother to sleep. I have helped him tie his sehra for his wedding. I have now also lit his pyre. Unfortunately I was not able to see him one last time in his last moments,” he said, recalling the biggest regret he has. Rajesh was visiting family back in his village in Haryana, when the unfortunate incident happened.
“I left him in the pink of health. I did not expect to find him like this when I got back. In the mortuary. Where they asked me to identify my brother’s dead body,” said Rajesh, before finally giving into his emotions.