A 56-year-old businessman was allegedly beaten to death following a parking issue with a neighbour at his residence in Patel Nagar on Sunday. The victim, Rajendra Kumar Bhatia’s family have accused the tenant, his landlord and a local property dealer for the assault.
Three men have also been arrested in this regard.
The victim lived with his family in a three-storey house in West Patel Nagar. The family owns the ground, first and third floors of the house and had sold off the second a few years ago. The current owner of the second floor is Kartik who had rented it out to one Prashant last week. Kartik, too, had frequent arguments with the family over access rights to the terrace.
It was Prashant who raised an objection to the manner in which a car owned by the Bhatias had been parked outside the main entrance of the house. The diagonally parked car, he told the family, blocked his way.
“On Saturday morning, Prashant came to us and said that we keep our car elsewhere. We explained to him that due to limited space available that was the only way, the car could be parked. He seemed convinced and even apologised,” said Mokshit, the victim’s son.
In the evening, Prashant visited the Bhatias once again and reiterated his demand in a more aggressive tone. Mokshit once again told him that it was not possible to keep the car elsewhere or even change the manner in which it was parked. “Before leaving, he told us that he would get the car removed from there ‘anyhow’,” Mokshit added.
Around 11-45 a.m. on Sunday, Kartik along with Ashok and Mohit Oberoi (a father-son duo, both property dealers) and few others reached Mr. Bhatia’s house and attacked him.
According to the police, even though Prashant was the one who had the argument, he was not part of the group that attacked Mr. Bhatia. Mokshit, however, alleged that the tenant was also part of the conspiracy to eliminate his father.
“They punched my father on the face and chest followed by repeated blows on different parts of the body. My father fell unconscious and they fled. We then took him to the nearby BLK Hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead,” said Mokshit.
The family also claimed that the attackers were at least 20 to 25 in number and included “hired musclemen” even though they knew only Kartik and the Oberois. For their part, the police said the number was fewer.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Alok Kumar said that a case has been registered under Section 304 (culpable homicide) against the accused men based on the complaint lodged by Bhatia’s elder son Manish. Among those named in the FIR are Kartik, his friend Dharmendra and Ashok and Mohit Oberoi. Ashok, Kartik and Dharmendra have been arrested.