Delhi taxi driver killed: Worked long hours to educate his kids, says victim’s family
A 43-year-old taxi driver was killed after being dragged alongside his own car for at least a kilometre on NH-48 by robbers
Bijender Shah, 43, a taxi driver, would begin his shift in the afternoon and drive through the night, retiring only in the early hours of the morning, often working up to 16 hours a day. All his hard work, Shah’s relatives and friends said, was for one thing only — to ensure that his five children, aged between 12 and 20, get a good education.
At around 11pm, the 43-year-old, picked up two passengers from Mahipalpur in south Delhi. However, the two passengers pushed Shah out of the Maruti Swift Dzire and tried to drive off. Details of the incident remain unclear, but according to police, Shah, attempted to save his means of livelihood but got entangled on the underside of the car, and was dragged for around a kilometre, before the body was dropped on the side of a service road on National Highway 48.
A video of the incident, purportedly shot by the occupants of another vehicle on the road, went viral on social media. To be sure, it is unclear where precisely on NH-48 the video is shot, though it appears to be a spot about half a kilometre before the Mahipalpur flyover.
A video of the incident, shot by the occupants of another vehicle, went viral on social media.
Police said they received information about the incident at 11.20pm, and when a team reached the spot where Shah’s body was dropped, they found his clothes torn at places, while his body had multiple injuries. He was rushed to a city hospital, where he was declared dead.
“Bijender used to leave home every day around 2pm, and return only around 6am the next day, so his family was used to being asleep by the time he arrived. Except on Wednesday morning, he didn’t come home,” said Shah’s younger brother Nagender Shah, 40, who drives an autorickshaw, as he waited for Shah’s remains at the Safdarjung hospital mortuary.
Nagender would later formally identify his brother’s body at the mortuary. “All I could see was blood,” he said.
Late on Wednesday night, the two suspects, identified as Mehraj Salmani, 33, and Mohammad Asif, 24, were arrested from Meerut, and the car was recovered from them.
The sole breadwinner of his family, Shah had been a cab driver since 2010, and was living on rent at Surya Colony in Faridabad’s Sehatpur for the last five years, and was putting his five children — two boys, aged 12 and 14, and three daughters, aged 16, 18 and 20 — through school and college.
“Shah used to spend a lot on his children’s education and wanted them to do well in life and get good jobs. His eldest daughter is a student of Deshbandhu College in Delhi University, and is preparing for the civil services examinations,” said NN Tiwari, Shah’s landlord, who said he was close to the family as they were both originally from the same village in Bihar’s Motihari district.
“He single-handedly earned for his family and didn’t let any of his children work... He pushed them to study,” said Nagender.
According to the family, Shah used to work around 16 hours a day and would leave home after eating lunch. The last conversation he had with his family, they said, was at 7pm on Tuesday, just hours before his death, when he sent his elder daughter ₹90 via a mobile app to buy vegetables for the household.
After seeing the video circulating online, the family expressed shock that the person filming, along with others on the road, did nothing to stop the suspects. “Nobody overtook them and stopped them. It’s not possible that no one noticed the body stuck to the car,” said Tiwari.
Shah’s death was the second tragedy in the family — his mother Lalti Devi had died just a month ago, and the family had recently returned from Bihar after conducting the last rites.
“Our family was just overcoming one loss, and now we have lost Bijender too,” said Nagender.