Like many others, the coronavirus pandemic had snatched everything that Salil Tripathi held dear- from his well-paying job to his father. But little did Tripathi’s family know that the last straw would be the death of the 36-year-old after his bike was allegedly hit by a drunken Delhi Police constable.
Hailing from UP’s Ayodhya, Tripathi had worked in several-star hotels before climbing a step up to become a restaurant manager in the national capital, The Indian Express reported. He was leading a comfortable life with his wife and 10-year-old son in Rohini. Earning Rs 40,000- Rs 50,000 as a restaurant manager, until 2020 dawned, and the first lockdown hit their lives. Tripathi lost his job in the first wave, his father in the deadly second wave. And within a year, this hotel management graduate had become a Zomato delivery executive.
On Saturday night, the final blow came in the form of an SUV driven by a police constable, which knocked him down. An eyewitness claimed, that driver was allegedly drunk and left Tripathi dead on the spot.
When Tripathi was hit, he was waiting for a food order.
Tripathi’s elder brother Manoj who resides in Ayodhya told The Indian Express that there was a time when Salil was earning well and leading a comfortable life, he used to send money home. “After the first lockdown, everything changed. We were struggling to make ends meet. Now, we have lost him. We don’t know how we will run the house now. I am a farmer, and I don’t have much savings,” he said.
Reportedly, Tripathi finished his schooling in Delhi and joined the JP Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology in Meerut. He started working in 2003 and held jobs at City Park hotel, The Suryaa Hotel, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, and Rico’s restaurant.
His brother further mentioned that Salil was working as a manager at the restaurant in Hudson Lane, but was removed from his job after it shut down during the first wave. “However, during the lockdown, Salil kept using his savings and thought the lockdown was temporary and he would get his job back, or find another well-paying job soon. He found one at a café but lost that too in 2021 because the owners faced losses due to Covid. Since then, he’s only had this delivery job,” Manoj told IE.
Narrating her ordeal, Tripathi’s wife Sucheta told IE that Salil joined Zomato to help pay for his kid’s school fees and other expenses and worked all day and night…the job was exhausting and he was not earning as much.
DCP (Rohini) Pranav Tayal told IE that the constable involved in Saturday’s accident, identified as Zile Singh, was arrested the same night. The police are also looking into claims by eyewitnesses if he was under the influence of alcohol at the time. The family further mentioned that a Zomato official came to meet them though they are yet to get any financial help. And a Zomato team is collecting documents to ensure financial help to the family.