A 55-year-old man died while three others sustained injuries after a truck allegedly ran over them in South East Delhi’s Okhla on Thursday.
The incident took place under the Modi Mill Flyover at 1:20 am, where the four were sleeping on the footpath. Less than a kilometre to the spot is a night shelter run by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
The accused driver fled after the incident and the police are searching for him, said a police officer.
The victim was identified as Lalan, whose family was also sleeping under the flyover when the incident took place.
Sandeep Rajan, an employee at the night shelter, said, “Lalan slept on the footpath every day. I tried calling him to the night shelter, but he never came. He told me that he would get a blanket and food from people on the streets. He preferred sleeping there to get money or food.”
The night shelter is only for men and is used by an NGO to run a school in the morning. The place provides bed and medicines to homeless people. It has 25 mattresses which are joined to accommodate 50 people every night.
While the night shelter authorities claimed that most homeless men prefer to sleep outside due to their “greed”, family members of the deceased made different claims. Lalan’s wife, Seema, said, “He was sleeping when the truck crashed into them. It took police an hour to recover his body from under the truck. There is a shelter nearby. Lalan never wanted to go there because we sleep here. He didn’t want to leave his daughters alone on the street.”
The injured persons — Adi, his wife Beena and their son Vikas (13) — sustained injuries on their head and limbs. They are undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital, said a senior police officer.
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