In Mangolpuri in outer Delhi, this morning, a Scorpio first crossed over the road divider breaking the cement railings and then rammed into a still Bullet motorcycle throwing down 25-year-old Sanjeet Khatra on the road. The white Scorpio, with four people in it, then reversed back and accelerated to hit him again. It kept ramming into him till Khatra was bleeding and dead on the road. A minute later, Pawan Garg came running out of the drivers seat and stood beside Khatra’s damaged body. “I have won the battle,” he shouted in anger.
Pawan Garg, 30, was then beaten by the people, who were walking on the road and saw it all happen. His wife, sister-in laws, and father came out of the Scorpio when people started breaking it and kept crying on the pavement. “He was beaten for a long time and the car was broken too but then police van came and took him away,” says Vijender, a betel leaf seller on the same road. Khatra was rushed to Sanjay Gandhi hospital where he was declared brought dead. Garg, according to police, was also taken to a hospital by the Police Control Room van, where from he absconded later.
In Kiradi, few kilometres from the spot, houses of Khatra and Garg, separated by a lane, stand facing each other, their shadows merging. Garg's house is locked and surrounded by policemen, and Khatra’s are mourning. “He was my best friend, we went to school together, college together and shared everything. My friend is dead,” Savita, Khatra’s sister said. Khatra had applied for a teacher’s job recently after after doing a course in Primary Teacher Training from a college in Janakpuri.
The family says that they had no animosity with the Garg’s except that there had been a couple of arguments over parking space in the lane. “There was a fight last year in November between them over their cars and since then there has been nothing. I don’t know why it happened,” Khatra’s mother, Shankuntala said. “My son used to tell me that Pawan always gave him spiteful looks and I used to tell him not to look back at him.” Outside, in the lane, Khatra’s silver grey Alto is parked.
Police sources, however, say that it was Garg's wife, Parul, who lay at the heart of the animosity. “It seems that the two had illicit relations and Garg had come to know about it. It is a crime of passion and there of dozens of eye witnesses who saw it happen,” said DCP Outer Delhi, Atul Katiyar. Khatra’s mother says that her son had no relation with Garg's wife and the two families hadnt talked to each other in a long time. Khatra’s older brother, Sudhir, however, said that Garg had doubts about his brother’s relation with Parul. “He sometimes used to say that my brother has some relations with his wife and sometimes even said that he had relations with his children but I used to tell him that it was only in his head,” said Sudhir Khatra.
Garg and Parul had a son and a daughter and Garg owned a utensil shop just outside his house.
Parul has recorded her statement with the police and so have other members of the family. Police are looking for Garg, who absconded from the hospital. “We are looking for him but it is highly shameful that he could abscond from the hospital and the police had no idea,” Katiyar said. Police sation Mongolpuri had earlier registered a case of death due to rash and negligent driving but later changed it to murder.