A day after a 21-year-old man died when his throat was slit by a metal wire used to bind police barricades in Netaji Subhash Place, police said the wire was specially arranged to keep four barricades in place. Sources told The Indian Express that a night before the incident, two barricades from the spot were moved to another area in preparation for all-night patrolling by police personnel, including senior officers, from the district. This left just two barricades with a wide gap in between them, police sources said.
According to police, a chain is usually used to tie the barricades. “Staff found that the barricades were often damaged by commuters. So, the beat in-charge would tie a wire, passing through all four barricades, between two roadside poles. This would keep the barricades in place,” a source said. “This makeshift arrangement was started a few months ago,” a police officer said.
The incident, which was captured on CCTV cameras installed at a nearby shop, took place between 1 am and 1.30 am when Abhishek Kumar alias Kunal was on his way home to Shakurpur.
“Kumar spotted barricades on both lanes of the road. They were tied with a thin iron wire, which was reportedly not visible from a distance. Thinking he could pass through, Kumar rode ahead. However, his neck got stuck in the wire,” an officer said.
Sources said the case has been transferred to the District Investigation Unit. “Seven policemen were suspended and the SHO of Netaji Subhash Place police station was sent to district lines. Among the suspended officers are two beat constables in charge of putting up the barricades,” the officer said. Sources said police will also look into who tied the wire.
On Friday, Development Minister Gopal Rai visited Kumar’s family and announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh.