In the narrow lanes of southeast Delhi’s Madangir and Dakshinpuri areas, four families — whose children were allegedly involved in the shooting at Karkardooma court Wednesday — struggle hard to hide their dismay. For some the incident came as a shock, others seemed accustomed to such news.
The four juveniles, who were allegedly recruited to kill “high-risk undertrial and gangster” Irfan, lived within a kilometre of each other. Yet none of the family members claimed to know the others.
The 40-year-old mother of one of the 17-year-old juvenile is sewing clothes in her one-room rented house. She is unaware of how her son got into trouble. “Hours before the incident, he had tea in the morning. We did not talk much as I was unwell. Before leaving home, he said he would be back soon. But he did not return. Instead, the police arrived a few hours later.”
The minor, a Class VII dropout, had tried to look for a job a few years ago, but it did not work out, she says. As he is the youngest in the family, she says she ignored his behavior. “I was worried about him, but had no clue how he was lured into such activities,” she adds. “Once he was taken to the police station for getting into a fight, but we scolded him to never get involved in such things again,” she adds.
Wearing a black shawl, she shivers in the cold and complains of body ache. She says she separated from her husband 15 years ago and since then, has worked hard to provide for her family by working as a safai karamchari with the South municipal corporation.
Barely half a kilometre away, the mother of the 16-year-old juvenile was not surprised that her son had been arrested. She says she came to know about the incident from a news channel, but did not know then that her son was involved. “The police came in the night looking for an identity proof. Then I came to know that he was arrested. He had had told me that he was moving to another city,” she says.
The mother says she migrated from Nepal around 25 years ago and her husband works as a security guard in a government office in Lodhi Colony. She says her son never used to study in school.
“I got him admitted in the nearby government school, but he never attended classes. I put him into the school thrice before giving up,” she adds.
Neighbours say the juvenile has been involved in pickpocketing for the last four years. “He was a regular visitor to the police station. We had given up on him many years ago.”
Two colonies away, the house of the third juvenile remained locked. Neighbours said the juvenile’s father works in the transport department in Sheikh Sarai and that the family has lived in the locality for the past 15 years. “We never had any trouble from the family,” says a neighbour.