On Wednesday evening, three men stood outside their homes, talking about work, dinner and life in general. Nearby, an e-rickshaw driver got ready to retire for the night, while a 50-year-old resident sat outside his house, waiting for his daughter.
All five had one thing in common: They objected to a group of men creating a ruckus outside their homes, and were stabbed in return. Two of them, Karanveer and Dinesh Sharma, died at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital.
The spate of violence at Mangolpuri’s I and M blocks was perhaps not all that surprising: Residents have, in the past, written letters to the local SHO, asking him to take action against men who consume alcohol in the area late at night. Even the local temple outside their homes is plastered with slogans such as ‘don’t sit idle’, ‘don’t consume drugs’ and ‘please find work’.
A Delhi Police notice also claims residents are under CCTV surveillance. A total of five CCTV cameras had been installed by local police, since the area had gained notoriety.
Lata, Karanveer’s daughter, said, “My father was not doing anything wrong, he just wanted to make sure people don’t shout outside the house. But they stabbed him.”
After Karanveer, his friend Dinesh was also stabbed. “Dinesh came running, clutching his stomach. I could see his insides from the stab wound,” said Meena Sharma, his aunt.
Vinay, who works at a fast food chain, was stabbed multiple times as he tried to flee the attackers: “They did not say a word. They just stabbed me and walked off. None of them were running; they just walked with no fear.”
Family members of the accused, however, feigned ignorance about the incident. The father of the juvenile accused said: “Can a boy who killed two people come back home, drink milk and sleep? My son is innocent.”
Pushpa, mother of accused Suraj, said: “The only problem with my son is that he helps his friends… I had slapped him that night, asking him why he came home so late.”