New Delhi: A horrific incident once again rocked Delhi just with the onset of the New year 2023. A 20-year-old girl left her home informing her mother she would be back by 10 pm. The girl, who worked for an event company was the sole bread-earner of the family, according to her mother. She had gone to Punjabi Bagh for her work on her scooty when a car (Grey Baleno) hit her and then dragged her for several kilometres (12-15km) in the Outer Delhi area in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
Video of accident victim surfaces on social media
According to the Police, the victim's leg got entangled in one of the wheels of the car and she was dragged around.
A video purportedly showing the woman's body without clothes and broken legs has surfaced on social media. The video could not independently verified. The footage also led to claims that the victim was raped and killed, but police has termed it as an accident.
The Delhi Commission for Women has issued a notice to the city police in connection with the incident.
Victim's family background
As per an India Today report, the victim identified as Anjali, was a resident of Aman Vihar. She is survived by her mother, four sisters, and two younger brothers. Her father had lost his life eight years ago.
Eyewitness narrates horrific ordeal
An eyewitness informed the police about the tragic incident after he spotted the car dragging the woman. He called the Kanjhawala Police station and even chased the car on his bike in an attempt to stop it, but it was all in vain.
A high-quality security camera video has supported the eyewitness's story that the victim was killed on Sunday early in the morning after her scooter was allegedly hit by a car. New CCTV footage from Ladpur village in Delhi, where eyewitness Deepak Dahiya owns a candy store, shows the Maruti Baleno car making a U-turn on the road. The girl's body was allegedly dragged on the road for more than an hour.
Deepak Dahiya runs a confectionery shop on Kanjhawala Road in Ladpur village. He said that the accused kept dragging the girl's body which got entangled under their vehicle for 18 to 20 kilometres and lasted for about one and a half hours.
"It was 3:20 am...I was standing outside the shop when I heard a loud noise from a vehicle about 100 meters away. Earlier I thought it was a tire burst. As soon as the car moved, I saw a body being dragged. I informed the police immediately," Dahiya had told ANI.
After some time, he said around 3:30 am, the car took a u-turn and the dead body of the woman was still stuck under the vehicle. Dahiya said the accused drove repeatedly on the road of about 4-5 kilometres by taking u-turns.
"I tried to stop them many times but they did not stop the vehicle. For about one and a half hours they carried the girl's body for about 20 km,' he had said.
After about one and a half hours, the body fell from the car near Jyoti village on Kanjhawala Road, after which the accused fled, he had added.
"It could not be just an accident," Dahiya further stressed.
All 5 accused arrested by Delhi Police
The suspects who were in the grey Maruti Baleno car have been identified as Manoj Mittal (27), a ration dealer, Mithun (26), a hairdresser, and Deepak Khanna (26), a Gramin Seva car driver. Amit Khanna (25), a bank employee in Uttam Nagar, worked in the bank on a contract basis and Krishan. All of the accused were allegedly drunk.
Mother of the deceased claims foul play
"I had a conversation with her at around 9pm, she said she'll return by 3-4am. She used to work as an event planner for weddings. In the morning, I got a call from the police and was informed about the accident. I was taken to police station and was made to wait," the deceased's mother said to ANI.
"When my brother arrived at PS, he was told about the death of my daughter. My brother told me about it. My daughter was the only person earning in our family. She was wearing so many clothes, but not a single piece of cloth was there on her body, what kind of accident was it," she further added.
Police express shock over condition of victim's deadbody
The police have expressed shock at the condition of the girl. According to the police after the incident the condition of the girl was so bad, that after being dragged on, her clothes and even the back side of her body got ripped off.
The body of the girl was sent to the SGM hospital, Mangolpuri, where she was declared brought dead. The body was then kept at the mortuary of the hospital.
Legal aspects of the case:
A case under IPC sections 279 (rash driving) and 304-A (causing death by negligence) has been registered against all five accused who claim they did not notice the girl's body being dragged under their car. They had reportedly fled the accident spot in Sultanpuri when the girl was hit by their car.
The post-mortem of the deceased in the Kanjhawala death case in Delhi was completed, informed Delhi Police on Monday.
A panel of three doctors did the post-mortem in Maulana Azad Medical College, the report of which is expected soon.
Could the accused be handed out death penalty?
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the incident the "rarest of rare crime" and demanded the strictest punishment for those behind it, while Lt Governor V K Saxena said his head hung in shame over the "inhuman" crime.
In rarest of rare crimes, death penalty is a possibility, but the post-mortem report and other facts of the crime are yet to be measured for the death penalty to be considered.
"I fail to understand in which direction our society is going. How can some boys drag a girl for several kilometres in their car and she dies without the police noticing? I hope and appeal that no matter how influential the accused are, they should be punished severely," Kejriwal told reporters at a ceremony to flag off 50 electric buses.
Describing it as an "extremely shameful" incident, he said, "This comes under the category of rarest of rare crimes. Such people should be given capital punishment. This can happen to anyone's sister, daughter or daughter-in-law. The accused in this case may be associated with highly-placed politicians, but all of us together should make an effort to ensure that they get the harshest punishment." Later in the day, Kejriwal said he has spoken to Saxena about the incident.
Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora has said the police will set an example by taking strictest action to prevent repeat of such incidents.
(With agency inputs)
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