Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts Via Phone or Email
NEW DELHI: Delhi’s ugly face — racist and without a trace of humanity or compassion — was visible at Rajiv Chowk Metro station on Sunday evening. In videos that surfaced on Monday, it became amply clear that what was being described as a fight or scuffle between three young men of African origin and some commuters around 6pm at the station was actually hounding of the three by a mob of over a hundred people inside a police booth that had no cop for at least five minutes.
The video shows many hands up in the air, recording the outrage on smartphones. At one point, a chant of ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ rents the air. Not one person in the crowd makes any attempt to come to their rescue or intervene to defuse the situation.
The three men are seen cowering inside the booth, folding their hands seeking mercy and even squatting on the floor to show remorse. What’s shocking is that the cops, guards and CISF men seemed to have left them to their fate for those tumultuous five minutes and were making only feeble attempts outside the booth to control the mob.
According to the police, the three youths, all in their twenties, are students of Sharda and Amity universities in Noida. They stay at NRI colony in Greater Noida and had come to Delhi for a party at Chhatarpur and were returning home. The cops said they were found to be inebriated.
These men were apparently being escorted by some private security guards to the police booth when the mob laid their hands on them and thrashed them. They finally took refuge in the police booth and one of them climbed on top. All this while, the angry commuters were hitting out at the men and slamming the glass enclosure with sticks and throwing things at them. Some enterprising members of the mob tried to pull down the man on the top who began kicking furiously but was eventually brought down.
One of the men suffered a cut on his neck which had to be stitched up. He was admitted to RML Hospital at night and released on Monday.
What was the reason for such collective outpouring of anger? No one knows for sure. The three men are said to have got into a brawl with some people inside a coach. A woman seemed to have complained that they had passed some lewd comments which set off the chain of events — a charge they have denied. Till Monday evening there was no trace of this woman who after complaining to the security guards seems to have disappeared.
The three – two from Gabon (and not Germany as earlier reported based on information supplied by the cops) and one from Burkina Faso – were taken by the security personnel to the booth. The Gabon nationals have been identified as Magata and Kurien and the third man as Yohan.
Some eyewitnesses have apparently told the police one of the men had passed an “anti-India” comment which led to the ruckus. That the three didn’t take the assault lying down and fought back infuriated the crowd even more. A case of rioting has been registered and the cops are now looking at CCTV footage to identify people in the crowd.