Seven toll employees were arrested Monday for allegedly beating a truck driver to death, following an altercation over paying a fine for not stopping at a South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) toll plaza in Kalindi Kunj. SDMC officials, however, termed the charges baseless and claimed they have CCTV footage to prove otherwise.
Police claimed the employees admitted to beating up the victim, Vimal Kumar Tiwari, who was transporting electrical panels from Noida’s Sector 58 to Ghitorni, after an argument over toll. “As the truck crossed the toll plaza, the employees assumed it will not halt and chased it… The driver was asked to step out across the toll booth along with his papers and an initial altercation took place,” said a senior officer.
While the toll was Rs 1,460, police said Tiwari was asked to pay Rs 14,600 — 10 times the amount — as penalty. “The driver insisted that he will pay later and even called his owner. But the accused were adamant that he pay up there and then. The argument escalated and they… kicked and punched him, which led to his death,” said Shwetabh Pandey, Circle Officer (Noida 1st).
“His body was dumped in an open area close to a footpath, about 1-2 km from the Kalindi Kunj toll plaza, which comes under the Noida Sector 39 police station. He was rushed to a local hospital by police and his brother, but was declared dead on arrival. The toll manager is absconding and will be arrested soon,” said Vaibhav Krishna, SSP Gautam Budh Nagar.
Police claimed they have obtained CCTV footage in which the accused can be seen bringing the victim’s Canter back to the toll around 5 am, allegedly from the spot where he was beaten up, which they said was a bid to make it look like a disappearance.
The footage allegedly also shows a few of the accused in a White Sumo behind the truck.
Meanwhile, SDMC officials have alleged that the case against the toll employees is baseless. “There is a provision to charge 10 times the fee as fine if someone skips the toll booth. In this case, the driver spoke to his owner who promised to give the money the following day. There seems to be no reason for an altercation. The victim’s brother, who was not at the spot and is not aware of the facts, has filed an FIR,” claimed an SDMC official.
SDMC officials said they will share parts of the CCTV footage with Noida Police, which allegedly shows the driver walking towards the Noida side of the toll unaccompanied by any staff.
The victim’s brother, Ram Shringar Tiwari, filed a complaint following which FIR under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 384 (extortion) and 302 (murder) was lodged.