Angry crowds gathered in Delhi on Tuesday, demanding justice for a scooter rider who was killed and dragged by a car for miles through the streets of India’s capital.
Delhi police said the 20-year-old woman’s scooter collided with the car in the early hours of January 1 before her body was pulled for up to 12 kilometers (more than 7 miles).
“We have information that the girl’s body was stuck in the car somehow and was dragged for about 10-12 kilometers,” Delhi police official Sagar Hooda told a news conference Monday. “Then at a turning, the body was dropped from the car.”
Five people have been arrested in connection with the incident, Hooda said.
A witness who was with the victim at the time of the collision is cooperating with police, he added.
“She was not injured and she left the site of the accident,” he said, referring to the witness. “The investigation is ongoing … we are looking at multiple angles and will soon complete it and the accused will get the strictest punishment possible.”
The woman’s body was badly mutilated, with her torn clothes found near her body, according to Harendra Singh, a senior Delhi police official.
“The back of the head and her back were destroyed because of being dragged for so long,” he said.
The grisly details have sparked outrage in India, with headlines dominating prime time news and many taking to the streets to demand strict punishment for the alleged perpetrators. On Monday, hundreds gathered outside a police station in the district where the incident took place.
Senior politicians have also called for an investigation.
“My head hangs in shame over the inhuman crime,” Delhi’s Lt. Gov. Vinai Saxena wrote on Twitter Monday. “I am shocked at the monstrous insensitivity of the perpetrators … All aspects are being thoroughly looked into.”
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister, said he had asked authorities “to take exemplary action against culprits.”
Road accidents are common in India, where drivers often break traffic rules and safety regulations are not always strictly enforced.
In 2021, nearly 154,000 deaths were recorded on India’s roads, according to the Transport Ministry. Meanwhile, nearly 58,000 hit-and-run incidents were reported nationwide.