The Delhi Police on Saturday filed an 800-page charge sheet in the Kanjhawala hit and drag case. Four of seven accused were slapped with murder charge.
On the New Year's Day, a car hit a woman on a scooter and dragged her for more than 12 kilometres from Sultanpur to Kanjhawala in Delhi. The woman died from her injuries. She was identified as 20-year-old Anjali Singh.
Anjali's death led to outrage over the nature of the incident and questions over lack of police action. Delhi Police faced questions about its public presence and response and the woman was dragged for 12 kms and no police personnel spotted or intercepted the car in the stretch.
On January 2, Delhi Police arrested Deepak Khanna, Amit Khanna, Krishan, Mithun and Manoj Mittal in the case. Two other accused Ashutosh Bhardwaj and Ankush were earlier given bail by the court. Deepak Khanna's bail plea was rejected by a sessions court. The other five accused were produced before the court, which extended their judicial custody till April 13.
Later, as many as 11 police personnel were suspended after Union Home Minister Amit Shah directed Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora to suspend all police personnel posted along the route where Anjali was dragged.
Notably, the Delhi Police had initially said that murder charges would not be slapped as the element of intent was not present in the case.
What does the charge sheet say?
The charge sheet was prepared with around 117 witnesses upon the completion of the investigation of the seven arrested, said Delhi Police to PTI. Metropolitan Magistrate Sanya Dalal posted the matter for consideration of the final report on April 13.
"On the basis of the material and evidences collected during the investigation, to the best of capabilities, sufficient material has come on record to prosecute the accused," the police said.
The Delhi Police recently invoked Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code in the case. It was initially registered for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and rash driving in a public way.
According to the charge sheet, Amit Khanna, Krishan, Mithun and Manoj Mittal have been booked for murder, while Ashutosh and Amit Khanna were booked under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The 800-page document said all the accused were booked for criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence, harbouring offender, common intention and false information, with intent to cause a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.
The Delhi Police has also levelled additional charges against Amit Khanna for rash driving and causing hurt by act endangering the life or personal safety of others.
Initially, the Delhi Police said they did not find any previous link between victim Anjali and the accused. The police added that for murder charges to be pressed, intention behind the killing needs to be established.
Special Commissioner (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda earlier said, "There was no connection between accused and victim and accused and eyewitnesses. This is what has been revealed so far in the investigation. The accused will be produced before the court on Thursday and we will request the court for police custody."
What we know of the case
In the early hours of the New Year's Day in Delhi, a car hit 20-year-old Anjali Singh who was on her scooter. The car then dragged her for around 12 kms from Sultanpuri to Kanjhawala. Her naked body was found in Delhi's Kanjhawala area.
The car that the accused were in belonged to Ashutosh, who is suspected to have shielded the accused, as per a report.
Special Commissioner (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda earlier said Amit does not have a driving license and after he informed Ankush about the accident, his brother convinced Deepak, who is a Gramin Seva driver, to tell police that he was behind the wheel on the fateful day.
Hooda also said Ashutosh and Ankush were not in the car. Ashutosh also misled the police by claiming that Deepak took the car when it was Amit, who had taken the car, said Hooda, adding Deepak also happens to be Amit and Ankush's cousin.
The autopsy of Anjali also showed no sign of sexual assault.
Earlier, a video purportedly showing the woman's body without clothes and broken legs had surfaced on social media. The footage has led to claims that the victim was raped and killed but police said it was an accident.
However, the preliminary autopsy report has showed no indication of sexual assault, according to Delhi Police. Sources told PTI there were no injury marks on her private parts.
Doctors of the Maulana Azad Medical College board who carried out the autopsy opined that the provisional cause of death was "shock and haemorrhage" as a result of pre-death injury "to the head, spine, left femur, and lower limbs".
"All injuries collectively can cause death in the ordinary course of nature. However, injury to the head, spine, long bone and other injuries can cause death independently and collectively in the ordinary course of nature. All injuries produced by blunt force impact and possible with vehicular accident and dragging," says their opinion in the preliminary report.
The Delhi Police said the full report will be received in due course of time. The doctors said they would be able to offer a final opinion after the receipt of chemical analysis and biological sample reports.
(With PTI inputs)