Sunder Nagri murder: How the cops failed to see the telltale signs

Although there is a large Hindu and Muslim population, the law and order issues in the locality have never taken a communal turn. Residents feel VHP event after Manish’s death tainted environment

Police have failed to control drug addiction and rising crime cases in the Sunder Nagri area

A fortnight after the horrific murder of a young boy named Manish in northeast Delhi, Sunder Nagri, a locality known for its resettlement settlements and rising drug abuse cases, hasn’t quite managed to return to normal despite the massive deployment of CRPF staff since October 2.

It is one of the largest resettlement settlements in the national capital which emerged during the Clean Delhi Drive of 1975-1976 by the central government.

The presence of a police station in the locality did not deter the three boys, who were strongly motivated to avenge the one-year internment of their incarcerated friends. The defendants, identified as Aalam, Bilal and Faizan – all residents of Sunder Nagri – have been convicted of murder and are currently in custody.

Also Read: Delhi’s Sunder Nagri Residents Worst Hit by Horrific Murder and Religious Hate Speech


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The Making of a Tragedy

Talk to The Federal, Sunder Nagri Ward Councilor Vimlesh Koli recalled how the police had failed to control drug abuse and rising crime cases in the area. “As a public representative, I had approached the police countless times due to the increase in cases of drunken youth engaging in robbery and physical violence, but the cops never paid attention to our concerns. I am not surprised that this incident happened and will not be surprised if it happens again in the future, unless the police get their act together,” Koli reiterated.

How boys fell prey to slaps

According to Koli, the boys here are addicted to smack – a semi-synthetic drug that comes from the opium plant – and the situation is so bad that after dark it becomes difficult even to find a car or a taxi to travel from this area. Several cases of kidnapping and theft have also been reported.

Families in the area report problems such as illiteracy, unemployment and the lack of a friendly atmosphere behind the rise in drug addiction. “If fathers ask their children to buy cigarettes, what can you expect from them when they grow up,” lamented one mother.

The demographic break

According to the 2011 census, about 1.2 lakh people live here. The numbers have certainly increased since then. Even a conservative estimate would put it at around 1.5 lakh now, a public representative said. A nuclear family here averages a minimum of five members, while the number of joint family members ranges between 14 and 18. “As the settlements are densely populated, it is easier for illegal businesses like selling smack and other intoxicants to thrive,” one resident lamented.

Read also: Worrying atmosphere in the country, troubled communal harmony: Gehlot

Residents here are mainly inhabited in 18 blocks spread over an area of ​​700 meters to 1,000 meters in length. About 60-70% live in their own homes and rest in basic rental accommodation or in Jhuggis (makeshift houses). The majority of people are low-wage workers – factory workers, laborers, security guards, clerks, petty traders, taxi drivers and light motorists.

Unaware of communal clashes

Although there are significant numbers of Hindus and Muslims, the locality has not experienced any major communal clashes. Even if the problem of public order has always persisted, it has never taken a community turn. Residents feel that the VHP event held after Manish’s death has stained the environment.

“Even during the Delhi riots in 2020, our locality remained peaceful. We supported each other and never allowed the communal forces to spit venom,” said Sunder Nagri resident Nilofar. But since the murder, and even more so after the VHP event, the Hindus have been suspicious of us. It also reduced the interaction between the two groups, she said with a worried look.

The trigger and its profound consequences

At the VHP event, called ‘Hindu Virat Sabha’, or ‘Aakrosh Sabha’ – held after Manish’s stabbing attack made headlines – calls were reportedly made to cut off the hands of those attacking the society Hindu, to collect weapons and to boycott their businesses.

“The mere act of giving a community tinge to a crime does a lot of injustice not only to the deceased, but also to the community that is targeted,” Nilofar said. We fully condemn this act and stand united with the victim’s family, she added.

Tackle the greater evil

A group of women sitting outside their homes said the police and administration must recognize the greater evil: drug addiction, burglaries and quarrels between young employees. Women from both communities do not feel safe traveling after dark. The government should address these issues as it affects us directly and daily, they said, adding that joint petitions have been made several times, with our ward councilor, but the situation is far from ideal .

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The councilor – from the East Delhi Municipal Corporation – spoke hesitantly about the severe shortage of funds she is facing. of. Funds to run a basic “malaria prevention” program are also not available.

Also Read: CBI Arrests Abhishek Boinpally in Delhi Liquor Scam Case

Commenting on the current situation, Seemapuri incumbent MP Rajendra Pal Gautam during a walk led by his organization “Mission Jai Bhim”, said his office is in constant contact with Manish’s family and has gave its full support.

The Aam Aadmi party has had a strong presence in the region, winning the Seemapuri seat in the 2012, 2015 and 2020 parliamentary elections. Gautam won the seat twice in a row. BJP’s Manoj Tiwari is the incumbent MP for the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. Like Gautam of the AAP, Tiwari is currently serving his second term as MP for North East Delhi.

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