Initial contact regarding the tragedy in Delhi’s Sultanpuri area was received at around 3:24 am on Sunday, when the caller reported a grey Baleno pulling a body along with its tyres, dragging it for about 12 kms.
A day after the killing of the 20-year-old woman, in an exclusive interview with India Today, AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed that Delhi Police is attempting to protect the suspected BJP member involved by failing to act quickly in the matter.
Bharadwaj said that the woman was sexually molested and possibly raped, and accused Delhi Police of having a “lax attitude” toward the investigation. He added that the circumstance was a “clear case of connivance”, and that the defendants were charged with “weak sections” under the Indian Penal Code to conceal the accused people.
“A body was under the wheel for 12 kms and the DCP says that the music in the car was so loud that the accused didn’t realise that the body was under its wheel. It is shameful to see the DCP use the statements of the accused to narrate the sequence of events,” said Bharadwaj.
The car’s five occupants have been detained and charged under IPC sections 279, 304-A, 304, and 34, having been accused of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing death by carelessness, and criminal conspiracy.
The woman’s corpse was discovered with serious injuries all over it. Her back was severely wounded, most likely as a result of being pulled for such a long distance. She had burn scars on her body from being dragged after her leg got stuck in the axle of one of the tyres. She sustained a head injury and serious abrasions on her hands and feet.
According to the FIR, the PCR call was received at PS Kanjhawala at 3:24 am on January 1. The caller stated that a grey Baleno car is heading towards Qutab Garh, with a dead person hanging from the lower section of the vehicle. The caller also provided the police with the vehicle’s registration number. The police contacted personnel stationed at picket lines, and efforts were made to locate the car. At 4:11 am, almost an hour after the call, Kanjhawala Police got another PCR call regarding the discovery of a body.
Police arrived in Rohini district and assessed the murder scene. The deceased’s body was sent to SGM Hospital in Mangolpuri, where doctors confirmed the patient was brought dead. The police tracked the automobile and were able to identify the passengers following an investigation. The occupants reported that their car was involved in a collision in the Sultanpuri neighbourhood. Meanwhile, after witnessing a scooty that had been involved in a collision, the SHO on night patrolling duty had reported it to the Sultanpuri Police Station at 3:53 am. Using the scooter’s registration number, authorities were able to determine the woman’s identity as 20-year-old Anjali residing in a Sultanpuri sub-locality.
Her body was discovered almost naked, and the family alleged sexual abuse by the accused. The National Commission for Women stated on Monday that they had taken note of Anjali’s mother’s accusations that she was sexually abused by the men. The panel requested a post-mortem examination of the woman in order to determine whether she was sexually abused.
A statement by the women’s panel noted:
“The woman’s mother has alleged that the men sexually assaulted her as she was found naked. However, the Police have denied the claim of the victim’s mother. The Police have arrested all five accused. The Commission has taken cognizance of the reported crime. Considering the gravity of the matter, Chairperson Ms Rekha Sharma has written to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to conduct a fair and time-bound investigation into the matter. The Commission has also sought that a post-mortem must be conducted on the victim to ascertain whether the victim was sexually assaulted or not. An FIR under relevant sections must be invoked, if the allegations levelled by the victim’s mother are found to be true.”
The preliminary post-mortem report of the body states that there are no injuries to her private parts, indicating that there was no sexual assault. Additionally, fresh CCTV footage revealed on Tuesday showed that Anjali had a fight with another woman outside an OYO hotel just hours behind the incident.
Responding to the horrifying event that occurred early on New Year’s Day, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena stated, “My head hangs in shame over the inhuman crime in Kanjhawla-Sultanpuri today morning and I am shocked at the monstrous insensitivity of the perpetrators. Have been monitoring with Delhi Police Commissioner and the accused have been apprehended. All aspects are being thoroughly looked into.”
“Even as every possible support/help and beyond, to the family of the victim will be ensured, I appeal to all to not resort to opportunistic scavenging. Let’s together work towards a more responsible and sensitive society,” he added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the incident a “rarest of rare” crime, and urged Governor Saxena to take “exemplary action” against the accused. “It is a rarest of rare crime. I don’t know where society is heading,” he said.
Several AAP workers, backed by senior party leaders such as MLAs Atishi and Durgesh Pathak, demonstrated outside the LG’s house, demanding his resignation for “poor handling” of the situation. “[The] L-G’s primary job is to provide security to the women of Delhi, but I’m sure he can’t list a single step he has taken to ensure that in the last one year,” said Atishi.
Delhi Congress head Anil Kumar Chaudhary has called for a high-level investigation into the incident, and a compensation of Rs 1 crore from the Delhi government for the victim’s family. “Despite law and order becoming dangerous to the lives of the people, Mr Kejriwal has not bothered to personally take up the issue with neither the Home Minister nor the Prime Minister, but only depends on Twitter to make his statements,” he said. “The Modi government did not take proper steps to control such crimes on New Year,” he added.