The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Family builds cable case, police blame the ‘unknown’

Calcutta, May 14: What or who killed Amit Dalmia on Monday night' A strip of metal or “unknown persons”'

Less than 48 hours after the 25-year-old was ‘stabbed’ by a four-foot-long metal strip that pierced the floor of the car he was driving before ripping his lungs and heart, police initiated a case of negligence against “unknown persons”.

But back at the bereaved Dalmia residence on Ritchie Road, Santosh Dalmia was convinced where the blame for his son’s tragic death lay — at the door of the company that had laid the metal-covered cable which sprang out at the Camac Street-Albert Road crossing.

“Nobody should be allowed to get away with murder. My son was not supposed to die in this manner and they will have to pay for it,” said Santosh Dalmia, explaining why he was determined to drag Reliance Infocomm to court on grounds of “gross negligence”.

If the evening found the father seeking legal opinion to carry out his lone crusade, the morning saw the elder brother, 28-year-old Vishal, home-video camera in hand, return to the spot where young Amit had died.

“He told me that he wanted to capture everything on video. He wanted to film the site where his dear brother had died for no fault of his. He told me before leaving that this was the first step towards seeking justice through the legal system,” Santosh Dalmia said.

So, this morning, Vishal filmed the car his brother was driving, the spot at which the strip had pierced the vehicle, the ‘killer’ metal strip and some witnesses. “The metal strip had jutted out and was lying unattended for a week. If it had been repaired on time, this accident would never have happened,” a resident who had reached the spot moments after Monday night’s mishap told Vishal on camera.

Besides collecting such documentary ‘evidence’, the Dalmias spent the day collecting the post-mortem reports of Amit’s brain and spleen for future reference. “We have read in some papers how Reliance has tried to defend itself by saying that my son was driving too fast. The reports will be handy in court, in case someone tries to pass it off as a case of drunken driving,” said Santosh Dalmia.

The police threatened to stop the work of all agencies unless they took up extensive restoration work on city streets. They first sent a letter to Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) commissioner Debasis Som, asking the civic body to take up “immediate restoration work”. Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) M.K. Singh said similar missives would follow to Reliance, CESC and BSNL.

Police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty said the force did not have the technical expertise to detect such flaws on the city streets, but “the agencies who can are not doing their job properly”. (See Metro)

“We are doing whatever we can to draw the attention of agencies like Reliance or CMC to ensure that roads are made motorable after any work. If they continue to ignore our letters, we will take action,” added Chakraborty.

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee today called a meeting at his chamber to discuss the threat of Reliance metal strips jutting out at various points. He later wrote to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on the matter.

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