A 29-year-old man who hails from Manipur was beaten to death by five men in the wee hours of Monday. Police said Akha Salouni was going to his friend’s house when he was attacked in Arjun Nagar market in Kotla Mubarakpur — less than a kilometre away from the police station there.
Three persons — Sanjay Basoya (24), Shakti Basoya alias Shanky (21) and Raju alias Bittu (25) — have been arrested in connection with the case. Police said all three are residents of Garhi village near Amar Colony. The three work as part-time property dealers and had come to meet one of their friends in Arjun Nagar.
While an eyewitness who was with Salouni at the time of the incident told police that the men attacked without provocation, DCP (South) B S Jaiswal said, “It appears that there was a quarrel between the two parties.
We are questioning the accused to confirm what led to the quarrel. We are on the lookout for the other two accused. Once we find them, we will corroborate their statements.”
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According to the statement given by Dihe Kazhiriri (25), who registered the FIR at the Kotla Mubarakpur police station, he, Salouni and another friend Nagender Sharma were returning home from Vasant Kunj when the incident took place. Kazhiriri claimed that the three had stepped out of the auto-rickshaw and were walking home when five or six men in a white Hyundai Verna blocked their way. They allegedly started shouting “maro maro”, and soon, began to beat up Salouni.
At this, Kazhiriri claimed that Nagender and he left to look for help and “call friends and inform the police”. When they returned “minutes later”, Salouni was lying unconscious, Kazhiriri told police. A PCR call was made at 2.50 am. A police team took Salouni to AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared brought dead.
According to police sources, the accused claimed that Salouni had commented on the way their car was parked, which had led to a dispute. However, police refused to comment on the source of the quarrel till the other two are arrested.
Police said the incident has been captured on a CCTV camera installed outside a shop in the market. A camera at the market’s entry shows the three friends walking on the narrow lane at 1.57 am. However, the recording of the assault is grainy, police said.
In the FIR, police mentioned that just minutes after the incident when personnel went to the spot and spoke to the locals, no one came forward as an eyewitness. Police believe the CCTV footage in their possession is an important evidence in the case.
A CFSL team from the CBI visited the crime scene on Monday and collected forensic evidence.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju who visited the AIIMS Trauma Centre said the repeated attacks on people from Northeast states was a matter of great concern for the government. “The attack seems to have been be coordinated and planned. Police have obtained some of the footage of the incident. I am in touch with the Delhi Police,” he said.
Police said Salouni worked for a BPO and lived in Munirka with his younger sister Julie, who works in IGI airport. He was the eldest of the three siblings and his father is a farmer in Manipur.
“Salouni had gone to meet his friend in Vasant Kunj. He was going to stay at Kazihiri’s house. We will take the body to Manipur on Tuesday,” Salouni’s cousin Priscia said.
While the body was sent for an autopsy, police said it could not be conducted on Monday.
In his complaint, Salouni’s friend has demanded that a medical board to be constituted for the autopsy and asked for a CBI probe into the case.