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Inquiry into road mishap

Agartala, July 21: The Tripura government yesterday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of three persons in a road accident involving a police jeep here last Saturday.

The district magistrate and collector of Gomati district, Sonal Goel, is conducting the inquiry and will submit her final report to chief secretary S.K. Panda within 15 days. Goel visited the accident site on Saturday morning at Gada Chowmuhuni and R.K. Pur police station, which a mob had tried to invade.

Goel refused to comment on the inquiry. “I am gathering all details and will submit the report soon,” Goel said.

The district magistrate has examined the jeep and expressed her annoyance over its decrepit condition to the officer-in-charge of R.K. Pur police station, Kanti Lal Badiya.

“She categorically told the OC that the condition of the jeep clearly shows it could be involved in such an accident at any time. She is also trying to find out if the driver Dilip Debbarma or ASI Tapan Das was driving the jeep at the time of the accident,” said a sub-inspector of R.K. Pur police station.

A number of people, including representatives of the Udaipur Merchants’ Association, met Goel today and recorded their statements accusing police personnel.

Association secretary Rakesh Ranjan Saha told Goel that the driver of the jeep had been driving the vehicle recklessly in a drunken condition and killed three morning walkers at 4.30am on Saturday. They requested her to recommend proceedings under Section 302 of the IPC and not under any provision of the Motor Vehicles Act or the Traffic Act.

“It was a cold-blooded murder of Laxmi Saha, 45, Sangeeta Saha, 50, and Debabrata Das, 47. I have, therefore, demanded proceedings under Section 302 of the IPC,” said Rakesh Ranjan Saha.

One of the two injured persons, Bapi Rajbhar, 41, has been released from G.B. Hospital here this morning while Ajit Das, 50, is still undergoing treatment.

The road rage resulting in three deaths has sparked a fresh blame game between Opposition Congress and the Tripura Gramin Vikash Congress (TGVC) holding the police and traffic department responsible for the accident.

TGVC president and former MLA Subal Bhowmik and sitting Congress MLA from Udaipur, Pranjit Singha Roy, yesterday visited the homes of the three victims. They promised the families that the issue would be raised at the state level and also in the Assembly session for providing compensation.

However, CPM office secretary Haripada Das accused the Opposition of making attempts to “fish in troubled waters”.