“Ab jo gaya uske baare me kya baat karni hai (What is there to talk about the person who has passed away),” said a relative of 42-year-old Rattan Lal, the head constable who died during violent clashes between two communities in Northeast Delhi on Monday. He was among five people who lost their lives, while at least 78 others were injured.
According to doctors at GTB Hospital, Lal succumbed to head injuries and was declared dead on arrival in the afternoon. Sitting inside the hospital, Lal’s relatives spoke about him — and who he left behind. Hailing from Rajasthan’s Sikar, he had joined Delhi Police as a constable in 1998 and was presently posted in the office of the ACP, Gokulpuri.
Manish Kumar (25), his nephew, said he was at work when he saw news of Lal’s death flashing on the TV. Immediately, he received several WhatsApp messages from his friends asking about his uncle. “I rushed to the hospital… I did not want to believe the rumours… I was shattered when I saw his body. He was not even posted on beat duty and we still lost him,” he said.
A resident of Burari, Lal is survived by his wife and three children — two daughters aged 15 and 17 and a boy aged 7. His relatives in Delhi said they are yet to inform his mother, who lives in Rajasthan’s Tiloli village. His father died six months ago from an illness, they said. Several policemen who sustained injuries on their hands, legs and back were rushed to GTB Hospital and Max Hospital, Patparganj.
Dr Rajesh Kalra, additional medical superintendent at GTB Hospital, said: “Around 10 policemen were brought to the hospital; the head constable was brought dead. DCP (Shahdara) Amit Kumar Sharma came with a serious head injury and we referred him to Max, Patparganj. The others sustained head injuries or fractured limbs.”
Max Hospital, in a statement, said: “We received six policemen with injuries sustained in civic unrest in parts of Delhi. Four patients are undergoing treatment at the hospital, while two others have been discharged.”
One of the injured policemen, Raman Nagar (30), posted at the DCP office in Maujpur, was hit by stones on his left leg. Lying on a stretcher outside the hospital, he told The Indian Express: “We were standing outside the DCP office and some people started pelting stones. Doctors have advised us to rest for a few days.”
Lal’s bank account number was shared and police officers started contributing to it. AAP MLA from Burari Sanjeev Jha also visited Lal’s family.
(Inputs from Ananya Tiwari)
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