In a span of two days, at least five people were beaten up and two separate cases of assault and attempt to culpable homicide were registered in south Delhi’s Kusum Pahadi area. The trigger, said police, was a woman hurling a stone at a cow. Police said that at 6 am on March 31, Jaishankar and his wife Sharmila were going from their jhuggis in Savitri Camp to a toilet nearby when a cow came running towards the woman. Police said there is a makeshift cowshed in the area.
Sharmila said she picked up a stone and threw it at the cow to scare the animal away. However, within minutes, people who owned the cows gathered and started beating the couple, police said. “They kept on beating me and my brother, who had tried to intervene, with a spade. I received several stitches on my head while my brother broke an arm,” Jaishankar said, adding that some people eventually intervened and stopped the assault.
Jaishankar, who works as a carpenter in the Vasant Kunj C-block market, said he went to the hospital and managed to lodge a complaint the next day, on April 1. A case was registered in Vasant Kunj North police station under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341(punishment for wrongful restraint) and 34 (common intent).
Even as police started investigating the case, a second assault took place the next day. This time, the victims were people who had intervened to stop the assault on March 31. A case was filed again, this time under attempt to culpable homicide.
Uday Chand Mandal, a private driver, was one of the people who had stepped in to stop the violence on March 31.
“Jaishankar was bleeding profusely and his brother was injured. All I did was ask the accused to put an end to it. I thought the fight was over and police had taken over. But the next day, the same people came and started beating me, my brother and our sons,” he said. Additional DCP (south) Chinmoy Biswal said they have arrested four persons and an investigation is underway.
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