Rs 2 lakh reward for identification of hit-and-run culprit
With the sluggish progress in the police investigation on the hit-and-run case in which one restaurateur named Bhupinder Singh was mauled to death by a speeding vehicle, the family members of the deceased have chipped in with a cash reward of Rs 2 lakhs for identifying the culprit.
On the night of Uruka, January 13, Singh was run over by a white Innova car in the usually crowded Jayanagar area of Guwahati. Singh, 35, who hailed from Diphu in Karbi Anglong district, was the manager of Nagameez restaurant in Guwahati.
A complaint was lodged by the family members of the deceased at the Basistha police station on the night of incident.
A week later, i.e. on Friday last, the family members arranged a press conference to announce the cash reward.
“A week has passed and the police have not been able to get any lead on the culprits yet. So, we had to take initiative. If anyone finds any inputs, please inform the police or the family at 9706060065. The identity of the informers will be kept secret. We are ready to reward Rs 2 lakhs for any valuable leads,” Payal Oshan Goswami, sister of deceased said.
Alleging police negligence, she said, “It’s very unfortunate that the police have failed to nab the culprits. The murderers have been roaming scot free and we demand immediate action. Despite tall claims of the police officials of trying their best to trace the car, due to the delayed process, we feel that the culprits have evaded by now. So, we are now calling upon the public to help us find the car and arrest the culprit.”
The hit-and-run case has snowballed into demands for justice from several organisations and individuals. They have taken up protest rallies and organised candle-light marches in various parts of Assam including Guwahati, Diphu, Tinsukia and Jorhat.
When contacted, Officer-in-charge (OC) of Basistha police station, Chidananda Bora told G Plus, “We have not been able to trace the car or the people in the car yet. Bhupinder's family members who filed the FIR could not give us much detail. We’ve spoken to eye witnesses and recorded their statements. Our investigation is on, but as of now, we have no updates.”
The OC further informed that the CCTV footage could only capture the side view of the car, which is making it difficult for the police to get hold of the culprits. The only information that police could get from the footage is that the car belonged to AS-01-GE series and it sped away towards Beltola Tiniali. The police have so far verified 17 white Innova cars belonging to the series but there has been no lead yet.
“We have informed all the police stations in the state to provide us any case regarding the car involved in the incident,” Bora added.
Eye witnesses told the police that the victim, who was hit by a white Innova car, succumbed to his injuries before the ambulance arrived at the site half an hour later.
Eye witnesses told G Plus that Bhupinder was stuck in a traffic jam at Jayanagar Chariali, when he spotted a white Innova that was partially responsible for holding up the traffic.
He then asked the driver to shift the car to ease the traffic, following which a verbal argument broke out between Bhupinder and the occupants of the car. Witnesses said that the car was occupied by a male driver and two female passengers. “The male driver seemed to be in his late 20s, had a fair complexion and a lean body,” one of the witnesses said.
The females, who were suspected to be inebriated, were heard goading the driver to hit Bhupinder with the car. Then the man behind the wheels took the car in reverse, hit him and dragged him on for around 50 meters before hitting an electric pole.
As Bhupinder lay on the street, the car sped away from the scene.
Although it is suspected to have been a deliberate murder attempt, police has lodged a case of hit-and-run in this context.
Singh is survived by his mother and sister.
Family members and friends of Bhupinder Singh addressing a press conference