HE WAS beaten, then run over thrice by two men driving a BMW car, dragging his body for over 50 metres and leaving a trail of blood on the road that was still visible two days later. In a horrifying case of a late-night party gone wrong, the 28-year-old nephew of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh was assaulted and run over following a fight in an upscale neighbourhood here early Thursday. On Friday, Akansh Sen, son of Arun Sen, succumbed to injuries at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
According to police, Akansh was run over by Harmehtab Singh Farid and his friend Balraj Singh Randhawa outside a house in Sector 9, where they had all got together following a party at Boom Box Cafe, which is owned by the victim. Both the accused, against whom murder charges have been registered, are on the run, said police. The FIR states that Harmehtab instigated Balraj to run over Akansh again, after they had ensured that he was dead.
Farid is the great grandson of Gian Singh Rarewala, former chief minister of Pepsu state, the erstwhile Patiala and East Punjab States Union, and owns a farmhouse in Landran near Mohali. Farid and Balraj, in whose name the BMW is registered, are residents of Mohali.
Sen’s family, meanwhile, have hit out at local police for failing to arrest the accused. “We are not happy with the police investigation. It has been more than 24 hours and no arrest has been made. Police should have acted promptly and arrested the culprits, who we fear have already fled the city,” said Vikramaditya Singh, son of Virbhadra Singh.
“I have spoken to the Punjab Governor and sought his intervention. Notices have been issued to stop them from fleeing the country,” he said. Congress leader Virbhadra Singh, meanwhile, cut short his election campaign in Uttarakhand and rushed to Chandigarh on Friday evening to join his family which has been camping at Himachal Bhavan in Sector 27 since Thursday.
Police sources said CCTV cameras installed in the locality where the incident occurred were not working. And that a police party that raided Harmehtab’s farmhouse Friday were chased away by “pet dogs let loose by someone inside”. Describing the sequence of events, police sources said Akansh and a cousin Adamya Singh had left House No 165 in the middle of the get-together but returned soon fearing that a common friend Shera would be assaulted by Harmehtab and Balraj due to previous enmity.
However, sources said, as soon as Akansh and three friends reached the house, belonging to another common friend Deep, the accused arrived in the BMW and accosted the two. “After beating Akansh up and leaving him on the ground, the accused sat in their white BMW and ran over him, dragging his body for more than 50 meters. Then, they drove away leaving him in a pool of blood,” said sources.
According to the FIR, Harmehtab rolled down the window and threatened that he would teach Akansh a lesson. Harmehtab and Akansh said they would deal with Shera later before Balraj pressed the accelerator, it stated. ”The injured was rushed to PGIMER by his friends. A case of attempt to murder was registered at the Sector 3 police station. Later, charges of murder under Section 302 of IPC were added in the FIR, based on Adamya’s statement,” said police sources.