Delhi hit-and-run horror: Who are the five men who dragged woman under car for 12 kilometres?

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In the nation’s capital, the New Year has begun with a bang — a 20-year-old woman was killed in the early hours after her scooter was hit by a car and she was dragged for 12 kilometres under the vehicle on the city’s roads. The horrific death of the woman prompted protests outside the Sultanpuri Police Station on Monday, with people demanding the strictest action against the five who were in the car that crashed into the scooter of the woman.

The incident even elicited reactions from Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who demanded the death penalty for the accused. Calling the incident “rarest of rare”, the chief minister said the culprits should be given the strictest punishment. “What happened to the woman is very shameful. The culprits should be punished severely. They should be hanged,” he said. “It is a rarest of rare crime. I don’t know where society is heading,” Kejriwal said.

Home Minister Amit Shah has also taken note of the shocking case, seeking a detailed report from the Delhi Police. According to reports, the Delhi Police has also constituted an inquiry committee, headed by Special Commissioner Shalini Singh, and asked her to submit a probe report as early as possible.

As the incident evokes horror and outrage among the public, we take a closer look at the five accused in the crime.

The men involved in the hit-and-run

After the woman, identified as Anjali Singh, met with the accident and was dragged for hours, the Delhi Police arrested five men, who were in the car, a Baleno, at the time of the incident. The five have been named as Deepak Khanna (26), Amit Khanna (25), Krishan (27), Mithun (26) and Manoj Mittal.

The accused have been sent to three-day policy custody and according to the police, the five seemed to be intoxicated at the time of the incident. Sources told news agency PTI that their blood samples have been sent for examination to ascertain if they were under the influence of alcohol.

Of the five, one of them — Manoj Mittal — is affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to the police, Mittal is a party functionary from Sultanpuri area. A senior BJP leader was quoted as telling Indian Express, “He is a small-time party functionary. He was appointed as co-convener of our local data entry cell four days ago.”

Incidentally, posters describing Mittal as the co-convener of the Mongolpuri ward in Delhi are visible in several places in Sultanpuri, including outside the police station. The authorities said Mittal, a ration dealer, is low in the party’s hierarchy.

Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Saurabh Bharadwaj in a press conference on Monday also pointed out Mittal’s connection to the BJP and alleged that the authorities were taking it easier on him. “Delhi Police and L-G have not dared to say anything yet about how he is a BJP member. Inke mandal ka sah-sanyojak hai. I challenge Vinai Saxena to make public the call details of the accused. The accused was in constant touch with police and BJP netas,” Bharadwaj said in his presser.

Apart from Mittal, Deepak Khanna is a driver in the Gramin Sewa, while Amit Khanna works at State Bank of India. Krishan is employed with the Spanish Culture Centre in Connaught Place while Mithun is a hairdresser, according to Deputy Commission of Police (Outer) Harender Kumar Singh.

What we know of the incident so far?

Investigations by the authorities have revealed that the accused had borrowed the car hours before the incident took place. According to the police, Deepak and Amit Khanna had taken the Baleno car from their friend, Ashutosh.

The police said that the five accused in the car revealed that after hitting the woman, they didn’t realise that they had dragged her body for some distance. An investigating officer said, “The five said the car’s windows were rolled up and they were playing loud music. When I asked them they must have felt an impact while driving when the body was stuck underneath, they said they thought the bumps were because of the bad road. Had they not been a little alert and sensitive, the woman would have survived.”

Eyewitnesses to the incident have a differing view. A local confectioner, Deepak Dahiya, said that he saw the accident and the woman getting stuck under the car. According to an NDTV report, he shouted out, asking them to stop, but they didn’t. He also told the news channel that he called the Police Control Room, but they paid no heed to his complaint.

He told news agency ANI, “It was 3.20 am… I was standing outside the store when I heard a loud noise from a vehicle about 100 metres away. Earlier I thought it was a tyre burst. As soon as the car moved, I saw a body being dragged. I informed the police immediately.”

He further added that after a while, the car took a U-turn and the woman’s body was still stuck under the car. Dahiya said the accused drove repeatedly on the road of about four-five kilometres by taking U-turns.

Another eyewitness, a delivery boy, was quoted as telling The Hindu that he saw the car taking a U-turn after the driver saw police barricades on the Kanjhawala Road. “I was completing an order when at Maharaja Agrasen Chowk a car running at high speed almost knocked me down. When the car took a U-turn upon noticing the barricades I saw the head of a girl at the rear end of the vehicle,” he said.

Investigations are still on and it is left to be seen what happens, but according to reports, authorities are now awaiting the results of the accused’s blood samples and the victim’s post-mortem.

With inputs from agencies

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Delhi hit-and-run horror: Who are the five men who dragged woman under car for 12 kilometres?
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