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Capital of rage kills for no reason

New Delhi, July 17: Five bikers smashed concrete slabs into a man’s face and left him to die after chasing him down Delhi streets — because his car had grazed a motorcycle.

The victim, 35-year-old Jitender Pawar, cried out for help as he was being beaten up by the drunken men who whipped out hockey sticks and iron rods in the capital of road rage.

All the five assailants —Sandeep, 21, Rakesh, 19, Chander, 22, Suresh, 22, and Murari, 22 — were arrested today and remanded in police custody. They admitted that a minor altercation — one of 10,000 such that occur on Delhi’s streets every day — had turned into an “ego clash”.

Pawar was driving home to Mehrauli in his grey Maruti Zen at 10.30 yesterday when the car nudged a motorcycle with two drunken men on it. No one was hurt and the motorcycle was not damaged, police said.

The men got off the bike, walked up to Pawar’s car and started abusing him. Pawar, the police say, might have replied in kind. The bikers then called up their “friends”.

Two minutes later, Pawar had driven away, but the men on the motorcycle — joined by three “friends” on another bike — chased him.

The chase ended on the road connecting Delhi and Gurgaon, where the bikers managed to corner Pawar.

After thrashing him with iron rods and hockey sticks, the men smashed slabs of concrete lying on the side of the road into Pawar’s face, deputy commissioner of police (south Delhi) Anil Shukla said.

“Delhi sees about 10,000 violent street fights a day, and countless other cases of road rage which thankfully stop at abuses,” joint commissioner (traffic) Qamar Ahmed said. The traffic police force is around 6,000-strong.

On five occasions this year, the road fights have proved fatal.

Psychologists say the lack of “any fear of law” is the main reason for the road rage incidents in Delhi.

“Delhi has an aggressive culture. But so do cities like Boston and New York. There, however, strong law enforcement and steep fines manage to control violence,” said psychiatrist Rajat Mitra.

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