The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Murder charge in metal chase
- Reliance-dig documents retrieved to boost ‘unnatural death’ probe

“Unknown person” is whom the traffic police have blamed for the death of Amit Dalmia. Four days after the 26-year-old was killed by a metal strip on Camac Street that ripped through his car’s undercarriage, before piercing his chest, the case has been transferred to the detective department’s murder squad.

Police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty decided on Friday to take the traffic police off the case and put the sleuths on the job. The Fatal Section Traffic Police (FSTP) had earlier registered a suo motu case against an “unknown person” at the Shakespeare Sarani police station, under Sections 304A and 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

Lalbazar sources said commissioner Chakraborty held a meeting with deputy commissioner (detective department) Soumen Mitra and deputy commissioner (traffic) M.K. Singh in the morning, before signing the order to transfer the case.

The police chief later told Metro that this was an “important case and needed to be investigated thoroughly by a specialised agency”. According to Chakraborty, Dalmia’s was an “unnatural death” and detectives have to probe it further.

“We have not clamped murder charges so far, but the fact that we have handed over the case to the murder section means that such a possibility exists,’’ the commissioner added.

Shortly after the transfer of power, detectives went over to the Reliance Infocomm office and picked up documents pertaining to the laying of cables in the city, especially at the accident spot on Camac Street.

A senior vice-president of Reliance confirmed that detectives had collected copies of the government permission for the project. “We have given them all the relevant documents,’’ he added.

Friday also found municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya clearing the decks for a month-end meeting between Reliance officials and the civic and CMDA engineers, to be attended also by chief secretary S.N. Roy and mayor Subrata Mukherjee.

The mayor said the Calcutta Municipal Corporation should be involved in a supervisory capacity for the work being carried out by Reliance. “I drew the minister’s attention to the fact that Reliance is not following the usual procedure while digging up roads,” added mayor Mukherjee.

According to minister Bhattacharya, the mayor alleged that the company was digging up just two inches of the road surface at some points, when they were supposed to dig up at least six inches. “We cannot stop the work, which is why we hope to break the deadlock at the meeting,” the minister added.

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