IT WOULD have been another hit and run, like so many in Chandigarh. But the daughters of 75-year-old Subodh Kumar Gupta are determined that the sudden violent end their father met with when he was mowed down by a speeding vehicle will not be consigned to the police records and shown as a mere statistic at year end. Days after he was killed, Gupta’s three daughters have thrown themselves into a full-fledged campaign to have the culprit punished appropriately for the crime.
The Chandigarh businessman, a resident of Sector 4, was run over by a speeding white SUV outside Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, on August 4. It was 5.30 pm. The owner of the vehicle, which had a VIP number plate, PB-03F-0004, was identified as Harjasneet Singh Chahal of Bathinda. He drove away from the spot and was arrested two days later on August 6. He has been charged with death due to negligent driving, but Gupta’s daughters say more severe charges should be pressed against him. Niti Goyal, Gupta’s youngest daughter, said, “We have hired a lawyer to pursue the case under the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the accused.”
Her eldest sister Reeta Aggarwal said, “It was not a simple road accident. We collected the CCTV footage with our own efforts and the footage shows that my father had made desperate attempt to avoid the accident but the driver deliberately hit him and escaped from the spot. The police had not reacted till the time we did not use our connections to convey to the local police to take swift action. But we were stunned when we learnt that the accused Chahal was simply released on bail from the local police station, Sector 3.”
Reeta and her sisters Rashi Mohta and Niti Goyal hve been mobilising support on social media. Bollywood actor, Sonu Sood, has signed up support for their campaign on Facebook. “We visited every shop in the market of Sector 10 and all the houses located near Hotel Mountview-10 and collected credible CCTV footage of the incident. We were assured that police would register a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the culprit but the man was simply charged with death due to negligent driving,” said Rashi Mohta.
The hit and run was witnessed by several people, including Arjun Goel, who lodged a complaint at Sector 3 police station. Gupta’s daughters, and his wife, Neelam, also said that they were concerned for their safety because after Chahal’s arrest, an SUV, with a VIP number, had been seen several times near their home.