A scientist who came home to Kolkata from Visakhapatnam last week died after the two-wheeler he was riding was hit by a car being driven by a retired police officer learning to drive in New Garia on the southern fringes of the city on Monday morning.
Sunil Kumar Garai, 51, who worked in the field of atomic energy at a central institution in Visakhapatnam, was returning home from a market around 8.30am when the accident occurred.
Garai, who police said was not wearing a helmet, is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Mohanlal Ghosh, 62, a retired sub-inspector of police, was at the wheel of his Maruti S-Presso, learning to drive, when it hit Garai’s two-wheeler, the police said. He was accompanied by a professional driver, who was seated beside him.
The Maruti S-Presso at Panchasayar police station.Sanat Kr Sinha
An eyewitness said the bike and the four-wheeler both were moving slowly. The car suddenly hit the two-wheeler from behind, causing it to ram into a roadside gulmohar tree.
Garai was sandwiched between the tree and the car, the eyewitness said.
“The motorcyclist was badly injured and gasping for breath. I called up Panchasayar police station immediately and was told to take the injured to the hospital without any delay. The officer who answered the call said they would directly go to the hospital,” said Sheikh Rahaman, who runs a tea stall near the accident spot.
“There were two people inside the car. The owner came forward to take the injured person to hospital in a rickshaw.”
The police said Garai was declared dead at a private hospital on EM Bypass.
An officer of Panchasayar police station said Ghosh had been booked under the IPC Section 304 II, which deals with causing culpable homicide not amounting to murder with knowledge that his actions many cause fatal consequences.
If convicted, the former cop can be jailed for up to 10 years.
“Ghosh did not have a learner’s licence and hence, was not eligible to drive at all. Even for learning to drive, one needs to get a learner’s licence first,” said an officer.
According to rules of the motor vehicles department, there is no age limit for applying for a driving licence.
“Anyone can apply for a driving licence. But a person has to apply for a learner’s licence first to start his or her basic training. Then he or she has to apply for a permanent licence. If permitted, the person becomes a valid licence holder,” said an official of the state motor vehicles department.
Sunil Kumar Garai.Sourced by The Telegraph
Ghosh, a resident of Narendrapur on the southern fringes of the city, has purportedly told the police that as there was no empty stretch near his house, he chose the roads inside the New Garia Housing Cooperative, which are relatively less crowded, to learn driving.
An officer said there was a small bump on the road where the accident happened and that had possibly reduced the speed of the motorcycle.
“The car hit the bike possibly because the man at the wheel failed to control the speed after the bike suddenly slowed down. Then, instead of slamming the brake, the driver pressed the accelerator,” an officer said.
In December last year, a retired engineer of Kolkata Municipal Corporation had hit the wheels after a gap of a few years and crashed straight into a water body near his Behala home, apparently pressing the accelerator instead of the brake. His body was fished out of the water a few hours later.