A day after a 43-year-old man allegedly murdered a couple, aged 41 and 39, with a meat cleaver in a west Delhi locality, police claim two incidents could have led the accused to commit the crime — a soft-drink bottle that one of the couple’s children accidentally dropped on his head, and a heated exchange with one of the victims who allegedly flung a stone at him.
Police have arrested the man and charged him with murder. Police said he has also been charged under the POCSO Act, after his daughter alleged that he had been trying to sexually assault her for the past two years.
“When his daughter saw him kill the man and woman, she got scared. The girl thought her father would kill her too and opened up about his alleged attempts to sexually assault her,” said DCP (West) Monika Bhardwaj.
The accused has been living in the locality for the past two years and rented out a portion of his house. The tenant vacated the premises in the aftermath of the murder. He lived abroad for 18 years, police said.
Based on statements of the victims’ family members and locals, police claimed that the accused has a “behavioural problem”. Police said he was susceptible to “sudden bouts of rage”, would strip in front of residents, and spray the entrance of his house with chilli powder to deter children from playing.
Police claimed he soon turned his ire on the victims and their four children. It began when the couple’s teenage son was involved in a playful fight with his sister, and inadvertently dropped a soft-drink bottle on the accused’s head.
“I asked him if he was okay, and he replied, ‘I will throw your parents off the roof someday, son’. He would follow me around in the market every other day,” alleged the boy.
On Wednesday evening, police said the accused got into a heated exchange with the woman. Her daughter claimed, “She initially ignored him before telling the man that he would die someday if he did not behave.”
Enraged, police said the accused ran to his house to look for the meat cleaver. The woman, meanwhile, rushed home and asked her children to give her the phone to call police.
“I told my mother that she should not pick a fight with the man… I tried calling the police, but the call did not go through due to weak reception,” said the daughter.
But the woman, her husband and elder son went to the accused’s home and banged on his door. Police said the accused came out and attacked the man in the stomach, slashed the woman’s head and chest and injured their son, even as their other children watched.
Police said the accused threw the meat cleaver under a car and fled. “He spent the entire night walking around… he tried to catch some sleep on a footpath before he was caught on Thursday morning,” said a police officer.
The accused’s family members were also brought in for questioning after police found that his wife had tried to kick him out of the house following a marital discord and had registered a case against him.
People took videos, didn’t help: Kids
On Wednesday evening, the narrow streets of a west Delhi locality witnessed two weddings. Women sat out chatting, while guests streamed in and out. But that did not stop a 43-year-old from allegedly killing a couple and injuring their son. According to the victims’ children, instead of helping them, people gathered around to take videos on their phones.
The couple’s eldest daughter said she helped her injured brother to his feet: “I just told him to run. That man killed my parents and people shot videos… Some shouted and tried to pelt stones…”
She ran barefoot to her uncle’s house a kilometre away for help. When she returned, she saw her mother being taken away in an ambulance.
Her younger brother, who was at work when the incident took place, said: “I dropped a bottle on his (accused’s) head and he never forgave us. I should have been there for my family.” The couple’s youngest daughter, meanwhile, was taken in by a neighbour.
The elder daughter was whisked away to the local police station for questioning. “The next morning was like a repeat of the police questioning… I kept telling everyone how my parents died,” she said.