Kolkata hit-and-run: Third accused arrested

Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) A youth was arrested early Tuesday in connection with the hit-and-run case in which an IAF corporal was mowed down here, police said.

Johnny is the third person to be arrested in the case after Shanu alias Sahanawaz was held from New Delhi on Sunday night and prime accused Sambia Sohrab was nabbed by the police on late Saturday night.

“Johnny was arrested in the early hours of the day from the city. Both Johnny and Shanu are being presented before a court where we are seeking their custody,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Debasish Boral told IANS.

Sambia, son of former RJD MLA Mohammad Sohrab, is alleged to have broken through police barricades before fatally knocking down Indian Air Force Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud with his Audi car on January 13 morning on the Indira Gandhi Sarani.

Both Shanu and Johnny are said to be accompanying him on the night before Sambia allegedly mowed down Gaud who was supervising the Republic Day parade rehearsals.

Shanu, who was brought to the city by police on Monday night, claimed Sambia to be the driving the car. Also, in a video posted on Youtube, Johnny claimed that Sambia was heavily drunk and that he had a brawl with the friends before he allegedly knocked down Gaud.

In the video, Jonny had claimed that he and Shanu were in another car following Sambia who was in his Audi. He also claimed that that his car was stopped by the police from entering the Indira Gandhi Sarani which was out of bound for civilian traffic for the Republic Day parade rehearsals.

“It was only in the morning we found out that all this happened and came to know that the police was looking for us,” said Johnny in the video.

Accused of several offences including murder, Sambia who was arrested four days after the accident, is now under police custody. The prosecution has also accused him of hitting another soldier before ramming his car into Gaud.

Police have also issued a look-out notice for Sambia’s father Mohammad Sohrab and brother Ambia who are still missing and untraced.

The case has created a political storm with the opposition parties claiming that police delayed Sambia’s arrest as his father was a leader of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress.

However, the Trinamool has denied its links with Sohrab and pointed to the fact that he had become a state legislator in 2005 with support from the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front.

The Indian Air Force, which is also probing the matter, too earlier claimed “vested interests” were thwarting the probe.

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