Three Minors Were Brutal in Attack on Nido Tania, Says CBI
In the attack on 19-year-old Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania here in January, which caused his death, three juveniles were most "brutal" along with the main accused Farman, the CBi has said in its charge sheet.
The charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pritam Singh has named seven people, including three minors, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder of Tania.
The charges also include wrongful confinement, common intent, and violation of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by passing racist remarks against the youngster.
The CBI charge sheet - which has been accessed by IANS - has laid the major blame for Nido's killing on four accused - Farman and three boys under the age of 18. They were present when Nido with his companion entered a paneer shop in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar market to inquire about an address on Jan 29.
According to the CBI, Nido's friend Lokam Lulu in his statement told the agency that "none of them replied to his querry, instead they started laughing, specially looking at the hair colour of Nido because it had been dyed golden brown".
They also made some insulting "racist remarks" about Nido, the CBI said, citing Lokam Lulu.
Nido told Farman that a friend of his required emergency medical assistance and they had to reach the address immediately to attend to him. However, the accused continued to laugh and mock Nido and his friend Lokam Lulu.
In frustration, Nido banged the glass counter of the paneer shop with his right fist, thereby breaking the glass of the showcase.
"Thereafter the accused, namely, Farman and R, F and S (juveniles in conflict with the law, who cannot be named for legal reasons) rushed out of the shop in furtherance of a common intention to overawe the deceased Nido Tania with criminal force. R and F (two minors) forcefully caught Nido Tania from behind and whilst accused Farman started hitting Nido Tania on his hands and feet," said CBI in charge sheet.
Lulu said in his statement, which is part of the charge sheet, that when he made efforts to save Nido, the two minors pushed him back and "they also beat Nido with punches".
Lulu, who is a prosecution witness and complainant in the case, has stated that "Farman started hitting on his (Nido's) head from the front with a wooden stick while minors hit him with hands and feet".
Nido sustained injuries on his head and face. There were cut marks on his both fists also and blood was oozing out of his right fist.
Subsequently, three local neighbours of Farman, namely Pawan, Sunder and Sunny Uppal also joined Farman in furtherance of the common intention of overawing Nido with criminal force by raining blows on Nido Tania whilst uttering derogatory racist remarks, the charge sheet said.
The post-mortem examiantion report and the report of the medical board have opined that the cause of Nido's death was cerebro-pulmonary edema and its complications as a consequence of blunt trauma to head, face and lungs.
The CBI, however, has dropped murder charges against the attackers on the ground that his killing was not premeditated but a result of altercation over breaking the glass counter.
Nido died in a hospital Jan 30, a day after being beaten up by several shopkeepers in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar area following an argument over his appearance and clothing.
After a detailed investigation, the CBI concluded that seven people -- namely Farhan, Pawan, Sundar and Sunny Uppal and three juveniles -- were involved in the assault on Tania that led to his death.
The four adults - Farman, Pawan, Sunder and Sunny Uppal - will be tried by the court while proceedings against the three juveniles will be carried out by the Juvenile Justice Board.
The case was transferred to the CBI from Delhi Police for further investigation after the victim's parents met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, demanding speedy justice.
The maximum punishment for culpable homicide is 10 years in jail, under which the CBI charged the seven accused. In accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the three accused below the age of 18 at the time of the crime are to be treated as juveniles in conflict with the law.
Even if convicted for crime by a juvenile court, these accused can be punished with only a maximum term of three years in a special home, irrespective of the crime.
Recently, many cases have come to light where juveniles were involved in most brutal crimes like rape and murder. In the Dec 16 Delhi gang rape, one of the six accused was a juvenile and was sent to special home for three years after being convicted on charges of committing rape and murder.
Two juveniles are also accused in the Shakti Mills gang rape case in Mumbai, where a photo journalist and a telephone operator were gang raped.