Kanwariya arrested for vandalism is a drug addict, thief
A 26-year-old "drug addict", with a criminal past, was arrested on Thursday evening for smashing an i10 car that brushed past a group of kanwariyas in west Delhi's Moti Nagar on Tuesday, police said. The accused, Rahul alias Billa, is a resident of west Delhi's Uttam Nagar and is unemployed man. He is involved in several cases of theft, said Vijay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (west). "He was out on bail in a theft case registered in 2014. He had spent six-seven months in jail back then," said the DCP. CCTV footage and entries made by him in registers at multiple kanwariya camps along the route helped police identify Rahul and figure out that he was headed towards Najafgarh, said the officer. "When we checked the dossier of criminals available with us, we found Rahul's name in it," said the officer. The police had gone to Rahul's home in Uttam Nagar and questioned his brother-in-law who said that the suspect was in the neighbourhood. The police team then searched the entire neighbourhood before finally nabbing Rahul around 6.30 pm on Thursday. The DCP said Rahul had not seen the news about the crime and did not know that the police were looking for him. "He had collected Ganga water from Haridwar and was headed home when he joined other 'kanwariyas' to vandalise the car. He was clearly caught on camera using a stick to smash the car," said the DCP. CCTV footage of the vandalism had caught public's attention and forced Moti Nagar police to register a suo motu case of wrongful restraint and mischief causing damage on Wednesday, almost 24 hours after the crime. Since both the offences are bailable, police have now added Indian Penal Code section pertaining to rioting. "Rahul has been arrested for rioting which is a non-bailable offence," said the DCP. The police had earlier attributed the initial delay in registering a case to the pending enquiry and the unwillingness of the victims to submit a complaint. According to the police, the kanwariyas were "agitated" after a couple in a car slapped a pilgrim who was hit by their vehicle around 5.30 pm on Tuesday. "Rumours that the pilgrim was badly thrashed by the couple united the kanwariyas," said the officer. Eyewitnesses recounted watching the couple running for their lives as kanwariyas began gathering at the spot armed with hockey sticks and large stones. There were three policemen at the spot, but they did not intervene as they were outnumbered.