A few days before he was killed, 18-year-old Delhi University student Rahul Rajput rushed home with his 21-year-old friend, who had met with a minor accident. At his modest house in Northwest Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar, Rajput’s mother quickly put a bandaid on the woman’s hand. “After she left, I told him to concentrate on his studies. I didn’t have a problem with the relationship but I thought he was far too young for it,” said Rajput’s mother Renuka (38).
On Wednesday, the woman’s two brothers — Mohd. Raj and Manwar Hussain — and their three minor friends allegedly beat up Rajput on the road over the friendship they shared. Late at night, Rajput died in a hospital of a ruptured spleen. Police have upped deployment in the area to keep tempers in check.
On Saturday, six policemen guarded the locality. The woman’s brothers have been arrested and the juveniles apprehended. Vijayanta Arya, DCP (Northwest), confirmed that the woman’s family opposed her friendship with Rajput.
Rajput’s mother said, “I didn’t have a problem with her religion… In our colony, Hindus and Muslims live together. I had a problem that they were too young. I wanted him to concentrate on his studies.”
It was at a coaching centre two years ago that the two became friends. Both wanted to improve their English language skills, and Freedom English Academy nearby was the answer. “We know they have known each other for years. She would sometimes come home too… during the lockdown. That’s why the night he was being thrashed, she was there, and I recognised her. She has recently come home too. She tried to stop the men who were beating him… Then she ran towards me and told me they were her brothers,” claimed Raju Nagar, the boy’s uncle.
On Saturday, when The Indian Express went to the woman’s house, her family members refused to talk. On Thursday, the woman was moved to a shelter home. “She is an adult and didn’t want to stay in her house… We didn’t question her decision and moved her to a shelter home,” said a senior police officer.
At Rajput’s home, his father Sanjeev (42) showed his son’s books meant for preparation of civil services exams.
The mat where the children sat in front of Rajput lay empty, and a colourful hand-drawn poster of his “Free Flying Coaching Centre- Class XI-XII….Special Classes- English” was kept on top of the books. “He was taking tuitions to fund the books he needed to prepare for IAS. We were so proud of our son,” said Sanjeev, a taxi driver.
Rajput’s younger sister, who is in class XI, is at their aunt’s home. It was during the lockdown that Rajput started taking English tuitions of younger children, after the doors of the Freedom English Academy were shut.
Barring the few times that the woman came to his house, Rajput mostly met her at tea stalls near their colony. “I knew they were friends but I didn’t know how serious it was till I got a call from the woman recently. She said they wanted to get married. I asked her to stay away from my son… I didn’t say this because I had a problem with the religion, but because they shouldn’t be thinking about getting married at this age,” said Rajput’s mother Renuka.
On the night of the incident, after Rajput’s uncles managed to pull him out of the spot, they rushed him home. Since there were no visible injuries on his body, the family didn’t take him to the hospital immediately. When he started vomiting and complained of breathlessness, he was rushed to a local clinic and later brought back home. Around 11 pm again, Rajput complained of uneasiness.” He fell on the floor and told us his stomach is aching. We took him to BJRM hospital, where he died later around midnight,” said his father Sanjeev.
Meanwhile, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta visited the family Saturday. Sisodia announced Rs 10 lakh financial relief for them.
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