A man on parole died after being allegedly assaulted by policemen in north-east Delhi’s Nand Nagri area on Monday evening for interfering in a quarrel between an estranged couple.
Even as the police claimed innocence in Shahnawaz’s death, a video, allegedly shot by a bystander and with The Hindu , shows the policemen beating him up with lathis as he lay on the road.
The video, apparently taken towards the fag end of the incident near Gagan Cinema, also shows a policewoman restraining Shahnawaz’s wife Mamta, while policemen try to force him into a police vehicle.
Through Tuesday, senior officers in the North-East Delhi district claimed that Shahnawaz was not beaten up by the policemen and that he suddenly developed unknown medical complications while being led to the police station.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said that while police were raining batons on Shahnawaz, Mamta had hugged him in the hope that it would force the police to stop the assault. With Shahnawaz refusing to get into the police vehicle, they beat him till he turned “numb” and could offer no more resistance, they alleged.
While a large crowd, including owners and workers of local establishments, were witness to the incident that took place on a busy road near Gagan Cinema around 5 pm on Monday, few were willing to speak. A tea seller Lokesh, who was witness to the incident, said around 10 policemen beat Shahnawaz mercilessly with batons.
“He misbehaved with the policemen which prompted them to thrash him. They then packed him into a vehicle and took him away,” said Lokesh. An auto rickshaw driver, on condition of anonymity, said that a policeman, “with two stars on his shoulders” had slapped Shahnawaz without any physical provocation after he intervened in the quarrel.