His friends allege foul play; say he was drowned while running for his life

The body of a man from Manipur was found under mysterious circumstances from a drain in South Delhi’s Chirag Dilli during early hours of Sunday.

Kawilungbou Chawang, in his mid-20s, was working for a BPO in Gurgaon. While he lived in Naraina in West Delhi with his brother, he had gone to visit his friends living in Chirag Dilli on Saturday for a party, Delhi Police officials said.

While the locals claimed that the victim ran on the street before jumping across a wall into the drain, his friends have alleged foul play. They said the death was another incident of “hate crime” against people from the Northeast and demanded a thorough probe into the incident.

They said it was “unlikely that a man in an inebriated state, as claimed by the locals, could have scaled such a high wall, crossed a fast flowing drain and then drowned in another”. Mr. Chawang’s friends suspect “he was running for his life”.

While the Delhi Police confirmed the youth was drunk at the time of the incident, they said the actual reasons behind his death could be ascertained only after the post-mortem report.

“The victim’s friends who were with him on Saturday night said he drank with them, but did not inform them before he left. They searched outside the house, but couldn’t find him. They learnt of his death later. We are questioning them as well as the eyewitnesses,” a senior police officer said.

There are two drains running parallel to each other in Chirag Dilli village. A 10-12 foot high wall with iron grills on the top separates these drains from the Chirag Dilli village road. The drain by the wall is shallow, but was flowing fast due to the recent rain. A deeper main drain, which has now been converted into a stagnant pool, runs parallel to it.

The main drain has iron rods, which the locals said were remnants of the construction work to cover it. The construction work has, however, been put on hold for the past couple of months.

“The man probably jumped the wall around 2 a.m. and landed in the drain. He was swept away to some distance but managed to emerge on the other side. He then tried to cross over to the other side, wrongly perceiving the green algae in the stagnant water to be concrete ground, and drowned. We reached the spot after hearing sounds of someone drowning,” said Azad, a local who claimed he helped the police in fishing out the body.

The victim’s friends, however, rubbished such theories. “Just a visit to the crime scene gives enough hints that it is a mysterious death. Whether he was drunk or not, the drowning theory cannot be true. If he were drunk, the wall was too high for him to scale,” said Wikhon, a friend of the victim’s brother Caleb.

“Moreover, his body was found in the stagnant drain, which could be reached only after crossing the first drain. If at all he managed to reach the other drain, he was possibly running for his life. The police need to investigate if someone was chasing him,” he added.

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