“My son kept pleading with us to save him, but the mob left us helpless. Each time my son fainted, they would sprinkle water on his face and then thrash him again. They snatched our mobile phone when we tried calling the police,” Saxena’s mother, Kusum Lata. told Hindustan Times.
An investigator told the media that one local resident has been arrested. “A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, intimidation and wrongful restraint has been registered at the Uttam Nagar police station,” the officer told the national daily.
Police have registered a case of theft against Saxena as well as Munni Pal, 26, and Suraj Yadav, 24, who were battling for their lives at a hospital with grievous injuries.“Saxena was also a drug addict and it may have contributed to his death,” said a police officer. Another officer had claimed anonymously that the three were caught stealing batteries “red handed”.
Police were yet to check if the three had a criminal record. Saxena’s family denied he had a criminal past and refused to believe he had stolen anything. He usually worked at night, and was lynched nearly two kilometres from his home between 3.30 am and 7.30 am on Saturday. Residents alleged that the three were caught after a spate of thefts of car batteries.
They were kicked and punched before the residents decided to parade them. “While being paraded, they were forced to carry the batteries they had stolen,” said another resident.
“I received a call at 4.30 am. My son sounded afraid and asked me to meet him with his auto’s documents,” said Saxena’s father, Vinod Kumar.
The couple rushed to the spot to find their son and the other two men tied to an electric pole. When their attempts to save their son was unsuccessfully they were forced to return home, leaving their son behind. “…we returned to the spot with a police team around 8.30 am…,” said Kumar.
The police vehicle took the three to a hospital where Saxena was declared brought dead. Saxena is survived by his parents, wife and two children with whom he lived in a rented house in Mohan Garden.