The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Six days to reach Dalmia door
- Sleuths hear out Amit family, inspect accident spot

Six days after 26-year-old Amit died while driving over a metal strip jutting out on Camac Street, the cops finally made their way to the devastated Dalmia home and the government did its bit to put the probe into perspective.

Referring to last Monday’s mishap as a “sensitive case”, home secretary Amit Kiran Deb said on Sunday that the government had decided to transfer it to the detective department as the police traffic wing was not equipped to handle the investigations.

“This is not a murder case,’’ clarified Deb, “but the probe has been transferred to the murder squad of the detective department as it is a specialised investigative agency, competent to handle such a sensitive case.’’

Deb said the police are pursuing investigations under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for “rash and negligent act causing death’’. At the same time, “the law will take its own course” if Reliance Infocomm was found responsible for Amit’s death.

“The guilty will be punished,’’ stated Deb, adding that the detectives would submit the chargesheet within the stipulated 90 days.

Sunday saw Sujit Mitra, officer-in-charge of the murder squad, knocking on the Dalmia door on Ritchie Road. Mitra met Amit’s father Santosh Dalmia and elder brother Vishal.

“We gave him a detailed description of Amit’s movements that fateful night, from the moment the call came from his friend on Camac Street,’’ Santosh Dalmia later said.

Vishal showed Mitra video-tapes of the accident spot and the statements of a few witnesses that he had recorded two days after his brother’s death.

Sleuths then visited the accident spot on Camac Street and interrogated three witnesses. They inspected the damaged car and studied documents earlier collected from the office of Reliance.

Later on Sunday, a senior police officer said detectives would speak to the engineers of the roads department of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC). “We want to know how long the metal strip jutting out of the road was. There have been conflicting statements from witnesses,’’ he added.

Commenting on the police probe, mayor Subrata Mukherjee said his department would cooperate with the detectives. “We are also keen to ensure that such a tragic incident is not repeated on the streets of Calcutta. I have instructed our officers to cooperate and coordinate with the sleuths,’’ said Mukherjee.

Reliance officials, meanwhile, said their personnel are patrolling the city and have already repaired some metal strips that were found to be jutting out from the road surface.

A senior Reliance official said “several aspects” needed to be investigated before anybody could pin the blame on the company.

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