A routine errand —fetching drinking water from a tap in a nearby lane — ended in tragedy when a 15-year-old boy was beaten to death Thursday night in northeast Delhi’s Khajuri Khas. According to police, Mohammad Azeem was killed by three teenagers after a fight over water.
At 7.50 pm Thursday, Azeem stepped out of his house with two empty containers and headed to the tap with three “friends”, said his family. Minutes later, a scuffle broke out between the boys near the tap, after which the three teenagers allegedly chased Azeem and beat him to death.
His 16-year-old sister Gulafsa said though he was not too keen on going out, she urged Azeem to get drinking water from gali no. 1 in the same block. “The boys came to our house and asked him to accompany them to the tap. He didn’t want to go, but I insisted he should go as our mother was busy,” she said.
She added that though the area received water from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) twice a day, there were no water taps in their lane. Gulafsa said the father of one of the accused carried the critically injured boy home. “He had turned pale and was unconscious… we took him to the hospital, but he was declared dead,” she said.
Their mother Nasreen (39) said in the two years they had lived in Block E of Khajuri Khas, they had never received drinking water in their lane. However, she said the scuffle near the tap was not triggered by the water shortage.
“We had some trouble with the family of one of the accused and I believe that’s the reason they murdered my son,” alleged Nasreen.
She said Azeem was a student of Class IX. “We had heard that he and one of the accused had a fight in school, but my son never told us what the problem was.”
Her son dreamt of becoming a “government officer”, said Nasreen, adding, “Everything is gone now.” But police maintained that Azeem was killed over a fight about sharing water. The three accused have been apprehended, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) A K Singla, adding, “A fight over water led to the murder.”