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Woman's Body Dragged by Car; Protests Erupt in Outer Delhi’s Sultanpuri

According to reports, the car dragged her body for 12 km. Locals have accused the police of trying to cover up a rape case by treating it as
an accident.
People gathered outside the Sultanpuri police station demanding stern punishment for men accused in Sultanpuri road accident.

People gathered outside the Sultanpuri police station demanding stern punishment for men accused in Sultanpuri road accident. Image Courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: Protests erupted in outer Delhi's Sultanpuri on Monday a day after a car hit a woman's scooter and dragged her body for 12 kilometres with locals accusing the police of trying to cover up a rape case by treating it as an accident.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed it the "rarest of rare crime" and demanded the strictest punishment for those behind the incident, while L-G V K Saxena said his head hung in shame over the "inhuman" crime.

Police said a medical board has been constituted to conduct the post-mortem. Based on the post-mortem report, fresh charges could be added against the five accused arrested in connection with the case, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda said at a press conference.

The accused have been booked on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing death by negligence and criminal conspiracy.

Scores of protesters gathered outside the Sultanpuri Police Station on Monday and blocked traffic demanding punishment for those responsible for the woman's death.  A person, who claimed to be an eyewitness to the incident, alleged the woman's body was dragged for over one-and-half hours.

A video purportedly showing the woman's body without clothes and broken legs has also surfaced on social media. PTI could not
independently check the veracity of the video. The footage also led to claims that the victim was raped and killed, but police said it was an accident.

Later, in the day, Kejriwal said he spoke to Saxena about the incident.

"Spoke to Hon’ble LG on Kanjhawala incident. Requested him to take exemplary action against culprits, strictest sections of IPC shud be slapped against them. No leniency should be shown even if they have high political connections. He assured that he will take strong action," he tweeted.

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal asked police to clarify if the woman was sexually harassed and if the accused have a criminal history. The panel on Sunday issued a notice to police in connection with the incident.

"I have some questions for Delhi Police. Was the woman sexually harassed by the accused? Was she killed like this after she protested over the harassment? For how many kilometres was she dragged by the car? Was there no checkpost or OCR van deployed on the stretch that she (was) dragged on?" Maliwal asked.

Aam Aadmi Party leaders on Monday staged a protest outside the residence of Lieutenant General V K Saxena and demanded his
resignation over the incident. Around 200 AAP leaders and workers, including MLAs Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj and Durgesh Pathak, gathered outside Raj Niwas at Civil Lines and raised slogans.

Security around the L-G's residence has been beefed up with barricades being put up and water canons deployed in the area.

Saxena expressed shock over the incident.

"My head hangs in shame over the inhuman crime in Kanjhawla-Sultanpuri and I am shocked at the monstrous insensitivity of the perpetrators. Have been monitoring with @CPDelhi and the accused have been apprehended. All aspects are being thoroughly looked into," Saxena said in a tweet on Sunday night.

AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that one of the accused in the case, Manoj Mittal, is a BJP leader and a hoarding bearing his picture hangs outside the local police station where he and his other friends are currently lodged.

The Delhi BJP's media cell head Harish Khurana, in his turn, said the police have already arrested the accused and the guilty should be given the strictest punishment regardless of the party they belong to.

At the protest in outer Delhi's Sultanpuri, an agitator said, "At the time of the incident, people were wearing five layers of clothes to beat the cold. Then what's the likelihood of her being found naked?"

Deepak, who claims to be an eyewitness to the incident, said that when he spotted the car and the woman under it, he immediately called the police and chased it for several kilometres.

Another person, who works as a delivery boy for a food delivery aggregator, said the car took a U-turn after the driver saw police barricades on Kanjahwala 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.

The 20-year-old woman died after her scooty was hit by a car and her body was dragged for 12 kilometres in outer Delhi's Sultanpuri on Sunday. According to police, five men travelling in the car have been arrested.

Police have said the victim's body was sent to the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital at Mangolpuri for post-mortem.

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