Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja on Sunday condemned the “attempt to link” the death of 32-year-old labour contractor Amarjeet Singh from Bihar in Surat as part of attacks on north Indians in the state.
In a statement, the minister said, “…(The) person had unfortunately died in a road accident, and not as part of attack on ‘outsiders’. This person had been living in Surat for the past several years. He sustained serious injuries as he was speeding in his motorcycle which first hit a tree and then the (road) divider.”
Stating that “a large number of north Indians are staying in Surat city for the last several years and no such incidence of attack on them has happened in the city earlier,” Jadeja said, “There has been no incidence of such attack anywhere in the state in the past one week.” He also added that people who had “left Gujarat are returning back”.
Earlier in the day, Surat city police said that investigations have confirmed that the death of Singh from Gaya was caused by him losing control of his vehicle. Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told The Indian Express, “Investigation at the scene of the incident and examination of the physical evidence shows that the deceased’s motorcycle strayed first into a bush and then hit a roadside tree. The impact was such that the motorcycle was badly damaged.The injuries sustained in the incident, physical evidence found at the scene of the incident and preliminary FSL examination report of the scene of incident show that it is a case of road accident caused by the driver losing control of the vehicle”.
Sharma added that efforts were on to trace the mobile phone of the victim which is still missing. He refuted allegations by the Singh’s family that he was attacked.
On Friday, Singh’s cousin Deepak Singh had said that Amarjeet was “attacked by some 10 people and hit him on the head”. The FIR registered at Khatodara police station, based on the complaint of Singh’s friend Deepak Sharma, was of a “fatal road accident” under IPC sections 304(a) (death caused by negligence) 279 (rash driving) and 338 (rash driving).
Surat police chief added that “not a single incident of attack on non-Gujaratis by Gujaratis has taken place in the nature of ‘hate crime’ in Surat city”. As part of the measures to ensure their safety, police inspectors have been asked not to leave their station area between 8 am to midnight without permission, Sharma added.