Kolkata hit-and-run: Final chargesheet yet to be filed against politician’s son

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It’s been over a year, but Kolkata police are still in the process of preparing the final chargesheet against a politician’s son who allegedly ran over an Indian Air Force corporal with his Audi car at a parade ground near Fort William on January 13, 2016.

Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud, 21, was rehearsing for the Republic Day parade on Red Road when the speeding car crashed through the guardrails in the protected zone and knocked him down. The vehicle was allegedly being driven by Sambia Shorab, the 25-year-old son of Trinamool MLA Mohammad Shorab from Kolkata.

Though Sambia managed to escape after the incident, he was arrested a few days later.

Sources said the chargesheet has been delayed because police were trying to establish murder charges against the accused. Even chief minister Mamata Banerjee has directed them to deal with the case as strictly as possible.

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“To the credit of the homicide department, Sambia hasn’t been able to come out on bail yet. This is in spite of all the influence exerted by his father to convert the murder charges to that of a road accident,” said a senior Kolkata police officer.

He said deputy commissioner (combat force) Lieutenant Colonel Nevendera Singh Paul, who was the first officer to inspect the Audi after the accident, has taken a particular interest in the case. “It is probably nostalgia for the armed forces that has made Paul extend himself beyond regular policing duties to ensure that the accused does not take advantage of legal loopholes,” he added.

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The officer said police were looking at three points to establish murder charges against the MLA’s son. The first was the identification of the accident spot as a protected area, which Sambia had entered in violation of all traffic rules. Second, Sambia’s Audi had crashed into the guardrail barriers not once but thrice – indicating deliberate intent. The third point was that Sambia had not slowed down and surrendered even after hitting the late corporal. Instead, he stepped on the gas and escaped after crashing through another guardrail barrier.

Police also said Sambia had violated the law on several instances in the past, using his father’s name to intimidate his victims. “In 2015, just a few months before the Red Road mishap, Sambia had beaten up the manager of a city-based nightclub and threatened him by citing his father’s name. Once the trial begins, we are confident that these points will justify the murder charges filed against the MLA’s son,” the officer said.