A 20-year-old woman’s brutal murder on January 1 in Delhi, India’s capital, has shocked the entire country.
The woman, identified in the media as an event manager, was reportedly riding her scooter home from the office in the wee hours of January 1 when she was involved in a collision with a vehicle.
According to the police, the driver of the car, which also contained four other people, continued driving for miles while carrying the woman’s body behind them.
A number of surveillance camera footages have surfaced, showing the body beneath the vehicle.
Though road accidents kill hundreds of thousands of Indians annually, this tragic incident has received extensive media coverage because of its shocking nature.
According to the Indian Express, at least five witnesses called the police after seeing the woman’s body being dragged along the road for nearly an hour. The fact that this happened during the New Year, when thousands of police officers were supposed to be patrolling the streets of Delhi, has only added more mystery to the situation.
The five men in the car have been taken into custody by the police but have not yet given any statements.
The federal home ministry has ordered a rapid investigation, and the woman’s family has expressed shock as police continue their investigation.
“My kid was in a fantastic mood. As a hobby, she enjoyed creating Instagram Reels, “as her mother revealed to BBC Hindi.
Her father had passed away, and her mother had to stop working due to illness, so the 20-year-old was also the sole provider for her family.
Her mother lamented, “We don’t even have money to perform her last rites.”
The woman’s loved ones claim she was sexually assaulted because her body was found in an exposed state, but police say there is no evidence of this in the autopsy.
“All of the victims were hurt in a car accident or from being dragged, both of which could have caused their injuries. The report also notes that there are no injuries consistent with a sexual assault “Sagar Preet Hooda, a high-ranking police official in Delhi, has made a public statement.
Probable causes of death were listed as “shock and haemorrhage due to injury to the head, spine, left femur, and both lower limbs,” he said.
The police have also reported that they have located the second female passenger who was riding pillion with the victim at the time of the accident; the second woman had fled the scene in fear but is now assisting investigators.
As the saying goes, “the screams were lost in the din of the music.”
After receiving two calls on Sunday morning, police began their investigation. One call was about a woman being dragged by a Maruti Baleno car, and the other was about a woman’s body being found on the side of the road in north Delhi.
The vehicle was located and the suspect was apprehended after a manhunt was initiated.
According to Commissioner Hooda, the five men have been charged with culpable homicide and causing death by negligence.
According to the police report, the accused borrowed a car from a friend and drove it between December 31 and January 1.
The accused reportedly claimed they hit the scooter in a panic and sped off, not realising that the woman’s body was being dragged behind them.
The vehicle will be examined by a team of forensic experts, and the police have stated that they will take the men to the scene of the crime to “verify their version of events.” The authorities also declared that they would try to simulate the incident with a dummy.
The defendants state that the victim’s screams were drowned out by the car’s stereo. The men were allegedly intoxicated, according to reports.
Game of political blame
A political dispute has also broken out in the nation’s capital over the case.
There have been demonstrations against the central government by Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) due to what the AAP claims is inadequate federal protection. The police force in the city is independent from the AAP and instead answers to the federal home ministry.
Members of the party demonstrated outside the office of Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Monday, calling for his resignation over the matter.
The lieutenant governor of Delhi is selected by the central government.
Press secretary for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Saurabh Bhardwaj, accused Mr. Saxena and police officials of “deliberately concealing this information” by saying that one of the five accused was a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the accused must face “exemplary action,” adding that no mercy should be shown to them despite their “high political connections.”
Although Home Minister Amit Shah has not issued an official response to the AAP’s criticism, he reportedly discussed the matter with the police commissioner and has mandated a prompt investigation.
Mr. Saxena, meanwhile, claimed to be in charge of the probe.
His earlier comments expressed shock and shame over the “inhuman crime” and the “monstrous insensitivity of the perpetrators.”