The wait for a water tanker and the fight over who will be first in line snowballed into a physical confrontation between two families in northwest Delhi’s Wazirpur on Saturday. A 60-year-old man who tried to mediate was beaten to death by five people, police said. DCP (northwest) Aslam Khan said three persons have been arrested, and a juvenile apprehended, in connection with the case. “A quarrel had broken out between two families. Lal Bahadur, who was trying to stop the fight between the neighbours and his family, was beaten up. They landed several blows on him before he collapsed,” Khan said. The juvenile will be produced before a juvenile board, following which he is expected to be sent to a correctional home, police said.
Police said the incident took place around 3.15 pm, when the water tanker arrived at the colony. Residents claimed that the tanker hardly arrives in the locality, because of which there was tension in the area. “There is a problem of water shortage. We have irregular supply and sometimes the water stops coming in the afternoon,” claimed Manoj, a resident.
The Delhi Jal Board, however, said they depute tankers in Wazirpur industrial area to cater to water demands. “We are trying to talk to the police to find out more. Delhi has been facing a water shortage crisis for the past two months due to lack of supply from Haryana,” said a DJB spokesperson.
The DJB had earlier pointed out that Delhi is still 100 cusecs short in terms of water received from Haryana, and the water level in the Wazirabad pond remains below 670 ft. Residents claimed that over 100 people started queuing up as soon as the tanker arrived. “I had started to set up a pipe to get the water when Sunny started arguing with me. He tried to take the pipe out of the water tanker and an argument started,” alleged Rohit, Lal Bahadur’s son.
The victim’s family claimed they were being assaulted by the accused when Lal Bahadur tried to intervene. “They beat up my father. He fell to the ground and they rained punches on him. He started bleeding from the mouth. Nobody intervened except for our family,” Rohit alleged.