Police here are battling allegations of protecting one of their officials following the death of a 23-year-old man who was booked for negligent and rash driving after his bike collided with the car of the policeman.
Gagandeep was admitted to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here with serious head injuries after the accident on Saturday. He died on Monday.
According to the police, Gagandeep jumped a red light in Sector 22 on Saturday night and hit a Santro car that was being driven by sub-inspector J.S. Bhullar, who is in charge of the area's police post. Gagandeep's 22-year-old friend Mandeep was riding pillion.
"During preliminary investigations we found that there was no fault of the police official as he was driving on the right side at normal speed. However, the boys jumped the red light and suddenly came before his car," Ramesh Chand Sharma, investigating officer of the case, told IANS.
However, a witnesses who called the police control room after the accident claimed the deceased had not jumped the red light. Instead, it was the driver of the car who jumped the light and hit the bike.
"The car did not stop and dragged the boy driving the bike a distance of at least 100 meters. After that, the driver of the car came out to see the injured boys and instead of helping them he drove away from the spot," said the witness, adding that the police did not take any written statement from him.
Gagandeep's family is also crying foul.
"At this time, we are in a state of shock. Police are trying to shield their guilty official. We will take this up with senior police officials but if we do not get justice then we will go to the court," said Balwinder Singh, father of the deceased.
"The boys were drunk and they were also not wearing safety helmets. We are now waiting for the post-mortem report. There is no point in suspending or transferring Bhullar as the accident was not his fault but still we have transferred the case to crime branch to ensure fair investigation," said Sharma.
However, Balwinder Singh claimed that his son never consumed alcohol.
Gagandeep, the only son of his parents, belonged to a village near Punjab's Moga town, some 130 km from here.