A 57-year-old sub-inspector died minutes after he was beaten up by a registered criminal in Shahdara’s Vivek Vihar area late Sunday night, prompting a sharp reaction from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The victim, Rajkumar, had gone for a walk after dinner in Kasturba Nagar when he got into a fight with Vijay Singh, the accused, who has over 20 cases registered against him. According to police, the fight started after Singh accused Rajkumar of making a video of him arguing with another person.
The incident took place 400 metres from Rajkumar’s house, and in front of a physician’s clinic. Kamaljeet Singh, an eyewitness, told The Indian Express, “Singh beat up Rajkumar and then picked up scissors from the clinic to stab him. We tried to intervene. Seconds later, Singh began chasing the officer and beat him up again. This happened at least three times, and Rajkumar eventually reached his house.”
The physician said the SI, his friend, had stopped by at the clinic for a chat while out for a stroll. “He would come often. We stepped out and he was on his phone when Singh, who was standing nearby, accused him of making a video. They started arguing and it came to blows,” said Dr L K Verma.
He said he left soon after and that “the accused did not take the scissors from my clinic.”
At home, Rajkumar, whose face was bleeding at the time, told his eldest daughter Rajni Bala (30) about wanting to file a complaint against Singh at Vivek Vihar police station. “Papa took out the two-wheeler and we had barely crossed 300-400 metres when he fainted. I picked him up, put him in an auto and took him to a hospital… he was declared dead on arrival,” said Bala, waiting for his body at Sabzi Mandi mortuary in Tis Hazari Monday afternoon.
The accused has two dozen cases of snatching, robbery, auto lifting and theft against him, said DCP (Shahdara) Meghna Yadav. “He was in jail from January to April. A case under IPC section 302 (murder) has been registered against him,” said Yadav.
Rajkumar joined the force in 1990 and was currently deployed in the communications department. His family alleged Singh wanted to teach the SI “a lesson” as he objected to his “business of selling illicit liquor and gambling”. The victim’s daughter told The Indian Express, “My father complained against Singh to beat officers, local police… wrote complaints. Singh threatened to teach my father a lesson in the past, and even when he beat up my father, he said ‘tujhe sabak sikhata hoon’. This is what an eyewitness told us. A police officer told the accused that my father had complained against him; that’s why he was attacked.”
DCP Yadav, however, said, “We have never received a written complaint by Rajkumar against anyone… if his family has a copy, they can furnish it.” “My husband stood up for people’s rights, stood up against this accused… for the colony… look what happened to him. But I’m not scared, neither are my daughters,” said his wife.
A police officer said that “while the PM report is awaited, Rajkumar most likely died of cardiac arrest”. DCP Yadav said, “His chin had a superficial injury that could not have caused death… there was a mark on his chest and no other visible injury. He suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes.”
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari demanded a probe into the officer’s death and said “society has no place for goondaism and urban naxalism”.