A photographer (23), who reportedly tried to save a neighbour from being beaten by a mob of 20 in outer Delhi’s Kanjhawala over a relationship, was beaten to death by the mob, Delhi Police said.
Shaukat, who was beaten by the mob on Tuesday evening, succumbed to his injuries the following morning.
The incident sparked tension in the area as Shaukat’s relatives and neighbours staged a protest with his body.
PK Mishra, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (Rohini), Delhi Police, dismissed the alleged communal angle to the incident. He said the situation is under control.
“We have deployed adequate force in the neighbourhood. We are speaking to elders from both the Hindu and Muslim communities in a bid to ensure that the situation remains peaceful,” said the DCP.
Though violence took place at an unauthorised slum in Sawada village in Kanjhawala at around 8.30 pm on Tuesday, trouble was brewing in the neighbourhood for the past few days.
Rihan (18), a friend of Saider who the mob was looking for, has filed a police complaint about Tuesday’s incident.
“My friend Saider had a girlfriend. A few days ago, he came to know that his girlfriend was in touch with another youngster, Ankit, from our neighbourhood. Saider spoke to his girlfriend and sorted the matter out with her,” Rihan has stated in the police complaint.
“Ankit and his friends would keep looking for Saider in our neighbourhood, but couldn’t find him,” alleged Rihan, who is pursuing his matriculation from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU),
On Tuesday night, Ankit and his friends allegedly started looking for Saider again, but instead spotted Rihan fiddling with his mobile phone at the gate of his house.They allegedly decided to target Rihan since they couldn’t locate Saider.
“The mob was armed with baseball bats, swords, rods, bricks and stones,” alleged Rihan.
DCP Mishra said that closed circuit TV (CCTV) footage has revealed that the mob consisted of about 20 men, all aged between 18 and 21 years.
“Some members of the mob began thrashing Rihan, while others picked up stones and bricks from an adjoining construction site and threw at his house,” the DCP said.
Rihan, who was rescued by his neighbours, was left with a fractured limb and several blunt injuries.
Then, the mob turned to Shaukat who had tried to rescue Rihan. “Shaukat was an innocent man, who was only trying to save a human life. He had nothing to do with the quarrel between the two groups,” said the DCP.
Shaukat worked at his maternal uncle’s photography studio and lived in the same area. “The mob thrashed him with baseball bats, stones and rods,” said Rihan.
The mob fled after local residents chased them away by pelting stones.
The two injured men were rushed to Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Rohini where Shaukat succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday morning, the DCP said.
The lane where the violence took place on Tuesday evening was littered with stones and bricks. So far, five suspects, including Ankit (18), have been arrested and the hunt is on for the others.
“It was a fight between young men over a relationship. We are ensuring that the assailants are caught and no one gives the incident a communal angle,” the DCP added.