“If a police officer is not safe here, then what is the guarantee we are?” asked SI Rajkumar’s neighbour, as his body arrived home after the post-mortem Monday. The sentiment resonated among other residents of Kasturba Nagar, a day after Rajkumar’s (57) death. He died after he was beaten up near his house, allegedly by registered criminal Vijay Singh.
Residents remembered Rajkumar as the “good samaritan” who “stopped criminals in the area from running illegal businesses by complaining against them”. They also remembered Singh’s constant run-ins with the law. There are at least two dozen cases against him, said police.
“We’ve grown up watching gambling rackets, illicit liquor and drugs being sold, and petty fights in the area. Everyone knows Singh… he’s known to us as Bhuri. Every evening, he’d start drinking on the street, harass women, pick fights and sell liquor. Mostly, people don’t say anything as he’s dangerous. Look what he did to Kumar ji,” said a resident, whose son was an eyewitness to the incident on Sunday night.
Singh’s relative, who lives on the street where Rajkumar was beaten up, said she stays away from the family of the accused: “He’s a criminal and has beaten up people in the past. I’ve told my children to stay away from him.”
Rajkumar’s daughter Rajni Bala (30) said “he was the colony’s go-to problem solver, who was never afraid to raise his voice against anything wrong happening here”. “He was inspiring in a way but look where that got him… now people don’t want to speak up against Singh and other criminals in the area out of fear,” said a neighbour.
DCP (Shahdara) Meghna Yadav said, “Action has been taken by the Vivek Vihar SHO to curb bootlegging. There is a picket in the area as well. Liquor is sold illegally everywhere and our job is to curb it.”