Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
On 19 September, I was reporting the ‘chakka jam’ or strike called by commercial vehicle owners in Delhi-NCR. At around 1:30pm, in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, I was speaking with the truck drivers on strike, when I heard quite a din in the distance.
A few men were rushing to the other end of the road shouting, ‘Chor, chor.’ A few minutes later, a crowd gathered, dragging a boy, aged about 20-22, by the collar, becoming increasingly violent as more people joined in. They began slapping and beating him mercilessly.
I was as confused as I was alarmed. I asked a fellow bystander, “Where are they taking him?” to which he said, “To the corner where they can teach him a lesson.” I couldn’t believe it, was I being witness to a mob lynching? Should I intervene? Should I call for help? I knew I couldn’t simply stand and watch.
I ran to locate the nearest police station, all the while praying I would find it in time. Although I couldn’t get to one, I found a few cops. I narrated the entire incident to them, urging them to hurry and help the boy, who may lose his life if they didn’t.
I ran back to the spot where the boy had been taken. There, instructions to switch off mobile phones had been given. Why? The boy had been tied to a pole and the members of the mob were taking turns to beat him. I was sick with worry, anticipating the situation to go from bad to worse.
Fortunately, the cops and the CRPF personnel reached just in time. As the crowd scattered, the boy was untied from the pole and the police took charge of the matter, later taking the boy into custody. I heaved a sigh of relief.
I don’t know whether he actually had or hadn’t stolen. I was thankful he had survived, and I was glad I had been there to raise my voice and help.
Update (21 September, 2019)
The Quint reached out the SHO of Samay Pur Badli thana which oversees areas including Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, to inquire the status of the boy who was rescued from the mob.
No complaints were lodged by either of the parties (the boy or the people accusing him of theft), the boy had no injury on him, no PCR call was made hence, no complaint was lodged. The boy was set free.Akshay Kumar Rastogi, SHO, Samay Pur Badli Thana