Days after the hit-and-drag case in Sultanpuri, which has shocked the entire nation, there are several unanswered questions about the incident, even as new discrepancies and errors emerge over the investigation.
Anjali Singh, 20, was killed after being hit and dragged by a car for 12 km in outer Delhi on New Year. The Delhi Police has arrested another person – sixth accused Ashutosh — in the Kanjhawala case, an official said on Friday.
Earlier, the police have arrested Deepak Khanna, 26, who works as a driver in Gramin Sewa; Amit Khanna, 25, who works for SBI cards Uttam Nagar; Krishnan, 27, who works at a Spanish Culture Centre at CP New Delhi; Mithun, 26, who works as a hairdresser at Naraina; and Manoj Mittal, 27, who works as a ration dealer at P Block Sultanpuri. After going through CCTV footage and call detail records, the police zeroed in on two more suspects — Ashutosh and Ankush Khanna — and said they were involved in shielding the accused. Ankush Khanna is the brother of accused Amit Khanna.
Meanwhile, Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal on Thursday said she will send a suggestion to the Centre to transfer the Kanjhawla accident case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), saying there are several discrepancies in the police investigation so far.
#BreakingNews | #Delhiaccident case: New CCTV footage captures sixth accused Ashutosh @AnvitSrivastava shares more details#AnjaliCase | @aayeshavarma pic.twitter.com/YBOpPg01GM— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 6, 2023
The unanswered questions about the incident:
- How did the accident happen and where?
According to the police, the accident took place in Sultanpuri’s Krishna Vihar area and Singh’s body was found in Jaunta village, which is about 14 km from this area. The lane in Krishna Vihar area is about 190 meters long and there are four CCTV cameras. There is some footage from before and after the accident in which two girls on a scooty and a Baleno car are seen passing by. But no footage can be found where the car and the scooty collide directly.
- Who was driving the car?
Police investigation has found that the man accused of driving the car which killed Singh on January 1 was home at the time. The accused, Deepak Khanna, was asked by his cousins and friends to tell the police he was with them at the time of the accident, as he was the only person with a driver’s licence, police said, as per a report by the Indian Express. < iframe width="900" height="506" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kdEYmqMEAMA" title="Anjali’s Uncle Demand Invocation Of Section 302 In the FIR In Delhi Accident Case | News18" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen > < /iframe > Police found that Deepak’s phone location from the time did not match with that of the other four accused in the case. His phone location and call records showed he was at home all day, they said, as per the report.
- How did they not know there was a body beneath?
A CCTV footage of the accused getting off the car and inspecting the chassis has surfaced, raising questions on their claims that they didn’t realize a body was stuck beneath.
- Why did the search begin two hours after the call?
Eyewitnesses have claimed that they spotted Singh’s body being dragged by the car and called the police control room (PCR), but there was no action. Deepak Dahiya, who runs a confectionery shop on Kanjhawala Road in Ladpur village, told the media that he made the first call to police at 3.20 am and then again at 3.30 am. Other eyewitnesses also called the PCR at 4.11 am.
The Kanjhawala police station also received calls during the same time, but a search operation was launched only after 4.15 am — almost two hours after the first call. According to sources, several police pickets did not find anything amiss even as Singh’s body was dragged on the route that the suspects took. “There are lapses on part of policemen on duty at the picket but there are lapses on part of those in the control room also," an official told CNN-News18. < iframe width="900" height="506" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FHNRM8RiVUI" title="Delhi Hit And Run Case | Anjali Death Probe | Delhi Hit And Drag Horror | English News | News18" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen > < /iframe > No action despite repeated calls to the police control room and unresponsive personnel at police pickets on the route the suspects took were some of the lapses highlighted in a preliminary assessment, shared with the ministry of home affairs.
- Why did the PCR van just behind the car not stop it?
Meanwhile, fresh CCTV footage on Thursday showed a PCR van just 40 seconds behind the Baleno car involved in the case at a turn.
The unanswered questions about the probe:
- Why was Nidhi’s phone not seized?
Singh’s friend Nidhi on Tuesday came forward as the only eye-witness to the bone-chilling incident. However, her version doesn’t come across as reliable. “The police have not even seized Nidhi’s phone till now which could have important evidence,” said Maliwal on Thursday.
- Can Nidhi be trusted?
According to Delhi Police, Nidhi might not have been present at the time of the accident, because a CCTV footage shows her getting dropped at home at 1:37 am the night of the accident. While she claimed Singh was drunk and insisted on driving the scooty, the autopsy report shows no traces of alcohol. Nidhi claimed her phone was broken in the accident so she couldn’t contact the police, however, CCTV images show the phone in Nidhi’s hands. Nidhi also said she made a failed attempt to save her and the accused men also tried to run the car over her. The CCTV shows Nidhi reaching home at 1.37 am. However, there is a discrepancy in timings of the CCTV footage. Nidhi’s friend Nishant claimed he saw her reaching home around 2.30 am.
- Why are statements not recorded under CrPC section 164 to make them admissible in court?
“We have also found that statements under section 164 CrPC have not been recorded of all the witnesses. Action should be taken against the guilty policemen, who did not respond to the PCR calls on time and the case should be handed over to the CBI," Maliwal said.
- Why did the police not scan complete CCTV footage? Why no murder charge in FIR?
“They have not scanned the complete CCTV footage on the 12-kilometer stretch on which Singh was dragged, not even the footage from the hotel till the accident site," Maliwal said. She also questioned the fact that section 302, which pertains to murder, was not added in the FIR. < iframe width="900" height="506" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v0BtPsxQgYk" title="Delhi Hit-And-Run Case | Former Delhi Commissioner of Police Exclusive | Delhi Hit And Drag Shocker" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen > < /iframe >
- Why no action against PCR staff and police yet?
By now, it is clear that there was laxity by the PCR staff in attending to the call. However, no action has been taken against those responsible yet.
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