Sep 19, 2017
Gurpreet Singh, 21, was killed and his friend was seriously injured when a car allegedly hit their bike in the small hours of Monday after an argument with the vehicle’s driver in Safdarjung Enclave. Gurpreet and his 22-year-old friend Maninder Singh had gone near the AIIMS to film a documentary on pavement dwellers in New Delhi on September 19. While the duo were dining near the Safdarjung Hospital, Rohit Krishna Mahanta came and begun smoking on their faces. The two objected but Rohit was drunk and threatened them in return. “We were working on our ‘Life of people on the footpath in Delhi’ after which we stopped to eat something. This man was drunk and started blowing cigarette smoke in our face. We objected as we are Sikhs and smoking is against our religious beliefs,” said Maninder. “He got into an argument and said that if we were in Assam, he would kill us and no one would get to know,” he added. Police later confirmed that the accused was drunk. Gurpreet’s family said that the duo decided to leave when the accused threatened to kill them. As the duo got on their bike and left, the accused allegedly followed them and hit them from behind. The speed of the car was such that it also hit an auto-rickshaw and a cab that were in front of the bike. All the injured were immediately rushed to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where Gurpreet battled for life for two days but died of his injuries on Wednesday. Maninder is out of danger and is undergoing treatment. Based on the cab driver’s statement on Monday, the police registered a case under Section 279 (rash driving) and 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) against the driver. Rohit, who was caught right after the incident, was taken to the AIIMS where he underwent a medical examination and was found to have consumed alcohol beyond permissible limits after which Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act was added to the FIR. Murder charges added: On Wednesday — after the deceased’s family demanded a probe — the police recorded Maninder’s statement. “In his statement, Maninder alleged that Rohit had a heated exchange with them just before the incident and had threatened them of dire consequences,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Chinmoy Biswal. This led the police to add Section 302 (punishment for murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) against the accused. Gurpreet and Maninder had come from Bhatinda to Delhi in 2016 for a year-long course at Delhi School of Photography, which was due to end in October. Rohit, a resident of Defence Colony, is a lawyer under the Standing Counsel of Assam government and his father, Anil Kumar, is a doctor.