Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) A young man was arrested early Tuesday in the hit-and-run case in which an IAF corporal was mowed down here on January 13, police said. However, he claimed in a video clip that he surrendered before the police.
Johnny is the third person to be arrested in the case. Shanu alias Sahanawaz was held from New Delhi on Sunday night, a day after prime accused Sambia Sohrab was nabbed here.
“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.
In a video aired by a regional news channel right after the arrest, Johnny is seen walking into the Ekbalpore police station saying: “I am going to surrender before the police.”
Shot by a family member, the video in which Johnny repeatedly says he is “surrendering before the police” was handed to a news channel.
His family members claimed Johnny went into hiding in Ranchi after the accident but came back to the city to surrender and cooperate with the police in the investigation.
Police have refused to comment on Johnny’s surrender claims.
Sambia, son of former Rashtriya Janata Dal legislator Mohammad Sohrab, driving his Audi car is alleged to have broken through police barricades before fatally knocking down Indian Air Force corporal Abhimanyu Gaud on January 13 morning on the Indira Gandhi Sarani.
Both Shanu and Johnny were said have been with him on the night before Sambia allegedly mowed down Gaud as he was supervising the Republic Day Parade rehearsals.
Shanu, who was brought to the city by police on Monday night, claimed Sambia was driving the car. Also, in a video posted on YouTube earlier in the week, Johnny claimed that Sambia was heavily drunk and that he had a brawl with friends before he took the wheel of the car and allegedly knocked down Gaud.
In the video, Jonny claimed that he and Shanu were in another car following Sambia who was in his Audi. He also claimed 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 later in the day that we found out that all this happened and came to know that the police were 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 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 out that he had become a state legislator in 2006 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.