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Friday, 19 May, 2000, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Road rage grips Delhi
Traffic in Delhi
Delhi accounts for most of the road accidents in the country
By Pallavi Ghosh in Delhi

India's capital, Delhi, has been hit by an increase in incidents of road rage.

Two people have been killed over the past two weeks.

Delhi roads are among the most dangerous in the world and account for the greatest number of road accidents in the country.

Earlier this week, 35-year-old Jaswant Singh died after bullets were pumped into him seconds after he had an altercation with a fellow motorist.

In an incident earlier this month, Ravi Chaudhary, a businessman, was mowed down by a fellow motorist Jagral Singh outside a hotel.

Two months ago, a motorist not only knocked down a young girl but also dumped her body into a nearby drain.

Delhi road
Stress leads to angry drivers
Incidents of such insanity on Delhi's roads are becoming increasingly common.

Deadly toll

Delhi accounted for more than half the total number of people killed on the roads in the four metropolitan areas in 1999.

Last year, 2,040 people were killed in 1,969 fatal accidents in the city.

What has happened in these incidents is nothing less than criminal behaviour

Kanwaljit Deol Delhi Police
Dr Achal Bhagat, senior psychiatrist at one of Delhi's leading hospitals, feels that anger on the roads stems from an increasing sense of insecurity gripping Indian society.

"Vehicles are a means by which a stressed out person wants to show that he is still in control.

"They use their cars often to assert themselves and camouflage their helplessness", he told the BBC.

The police, however, do not accept this theory.

They say it merely attempts to rationalise criminal behaviour.

Kanwaljit Deol, additional commissioner of Delhi's traffic police, told the BBC that "what has happened in these incidents is nothing less than criminal behaviour.

"It cannot be linked in any way to chaotic traffic or what is termed as road rage," Mr Deol said.

Put it down to the increasing stress of urban lifestyles or pent up aggression, the hazards of driving on Delhi's roads are not confined merely to the incompetence of one's fellow motorists.

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