A 24-year-old cab driver arrested on charges of theft in Northeast Delhi early Wednesday morning died at a government hospital later that night, after his condition deteriorated in judicial custody. While Mesar Ali’s family suspects he was beaten up in police custody during the day, DCP (Northeast) Ved Prakash Surya said “he was beaten up by locals when caught red-handed trying to steal a vehicle”.
Following Mesar’s arrest, police filed an FIR against him under sections of theft at Welcome police station. On Thursday, another FIR under IPC section of murder was filed at Welcome police station, said DCP Surya.
“At 2.49 am Wednesday, we received a PCR call that a vehicle thief had been caught at Kabir Nagar. The complainant, Hiralal Kamra, produced the accused, claiming he was trying to steal his tempo. Kamra said the accused was beaten up by the public. No arrests have been made so far, we are investigating the matter,” said Surya. He said Mesar was taken to Jag Parvesh Chander hospital as he had sustained injuries and was arrested after preparing the MLC.
Mesar, who hailed from UP’s Badaun and lived in South Delhi’s Tughlakabad, is survived by his wife and two children.
Mesar’s wife Rubi Parveen (22) told The Indian Express he called her on Tuesday night and promised to be home by midnight. “I kept calling him till Wednesday afternoon but couldn’t reach him. Then I got a call from Welcome police station that my husband was arrested in a theft case,” she claimed at GTB Hospital, where she was awaiting his post-mortem.
“When police called to inform of the arrest, Mesar spoke to us and said he had been beaten up. He mentioned he had injuries… He didn’t say who beat him up,” alleged his younger brother Danish (21).
On receiving the call, Danish went to the Welcome police station where he claimed he was not allowed to meet his brother. He alleged that at 8 pm Wednesday, he was told his brother had been transferred to Mandoli Jail.
DCP Surya said, “By the time his brother reached, Mesar had already been produced in front of Metropolitan Magistrate Mayank Mittal and sent to judicial custody. He was transferred to Hedgewar hospital from Mandoli jail, where he died around midnight… He was beaten up by locals who caught him stealing, and police rushed him to the hospital from the spot.”
Dr Banarsi Das, Chief Casualty Medical Officer of Hedgewar hospital, told The Indian Express they tried to resuscitate Mesar but he succumbed to injuries at 9.38 pm.
Danish alleged: “Early Thursday, I got a call from police to visit GTB hospital and found my brother was dead. I saw his body… he seemed to have suffered a head injury, broken arms, bruises on the face and injuries to the chest.”
Mesar’s family denied the theft charge: “He was on duty, driving the rented Ertiga… Earlier, he was a truck driver and started driving a cab a few weeks ago,” said Danish. DCP Surya said police have not recovered the car from the spot.
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