When Meena Kumari, a resident of Devli Village in South Delhi’s Neb Sarai area, received a call around 4.30 am on Tuesday morning, she did not expect that it would turn out to be her biggest nightmare. She spoke to her 15-year-old son Sunil, but never thought that it would be her last words to him.
When she picked up the call, an unidentified person told her that her son had barged into a house in the nearby Krishna Park area and had been caught stealing. She heard her son wailing on the phone and grew frightened.
“He was crying loudly and he repeatedly asked me to rescue him or else people will beat him to death. I was very scared and did not know what to do,” she said. Her husband, Munna Lal, was not at home. At the break of the dawn, she gathered some of her neigbours and started searching for her son, but in vain. “We looked for him for two hours but could not find him,” she said.
Around five minutes away from her residence, a naked body was found thrown outside a house in D block Krishna Park around 8 am. It was the body of her son. Police said he was beaten to death by locals who allegedly caught him stealing. The family members, until now, had no clue to their son’s whereabouts.
On Tuesday around 2.30 pm, Meena received another call — this time from a policeman. “Police asked me to come to Neb Sarai police station. They then took me to AIIMS trauma centre to identify a body,” she said.
She said that she saw her son lying in a room and was horrified by how his body looked. It was then that she realised he was dead. “His body was covered with mud and there were several marks on it. Police said that he was thrashed by locals. Is this a way to treat a 15-year-old?” she said.
She alleged foul play and questioned the inhuman treatment meted out to her son. She said that her son was never involved in stealing and was an honest child. “He previously worked as a salesman in a local shoe shop but we never got a complain from the owner,” Meena said. “Even if my son was stealing, should anyone kill him for that?” she said.
The father, Lal, said, “Our son did not steal anything. He was dragged into the incident. When we asked police to show us the footage from the CCTV camera placed right outside the house where the incident took place, they refused.”
The family also alleged that the police was being high-handed. They had brought the body home on Wednesday, but alleged that police did not allow them to keep it for a long time. “They forced us to remove the body immediately,” a family member said.
Police, however, did not comment on the CCTV footage. “We have arrested two persons. Their version is that they caught the boy stealing, but we are looking into the matter. Further investigation is on to nab their associates,” an officer said.