An Air Force officer was killed during the Republic Day rehearsal parade here Wednesday after a speeding car smashed through the barricades and knocked him down. The car, a brand new Audi, was allegedly being driven by the son of former RJD MLA and current TMC leader Mohammed Sohrab, police said.
As per the police, the car tore through three guard rails on Red Road, which was closed for traffic, at about 6.30 am and ran over 21-year-old Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud, the Air Force drill instructor supervising the parade. “The car dragged Gaud more than 20 metres. It sped away but came to a halt after hitting another barricade near the south gate of Fort William,” an officer said, adding the driver left the car and fled.
Gaud was injured on his head and suffered multiple fractures. He was rushed to Eastern Command Hospital where the doctors declared him dead. The Air Force officer was from Surat in Gujarat, a Defence official said.
Kolkata Traffic Police personnel said that the Audi was initially stopped while it was trying to get onto the flyover leading to Vidyasagar Setu.
“The driver took a U-turn on the flyover and drove down using the wrong lane. It then sped towards Red Road where vehicular entry was prohibited because of the rehearsal,” a police officer said. Describing the death of the officer as “unfortunate”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered “strict and strong action” against the person responsible for the mishap.
Kolkata Police found a challan in the car through which they got the address of the showroom that sold the vehicle.
“Showroom records say that the car was belonged to Sohrab’s son, Ambia Sohrab,” an officer said. Though no arrests have been made, according to an officer, a relative of Ambia Sohrab was called for questioning at the Lalbazar Headquarters.