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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Man held for Australian teen's death produced in court

ANI   Rajpura, December 12, 2013
First Published: 14:35 IST(12/12/2013) | Last Updated: 14:39 IST(12/12/2013)

Puneet Kumar arrested in connection with a hit-and-run case, and charged for mowing down a 19-year-old Australian student and severely injuring another, was produced before a court in Rajpura District in Punjab on Thursday.

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Puneet Kumar has been charged with culpable driving under the influence of alcohol, causing the death of 19-year-old Dean Hofstee and seriously injuring 20-year-old Clancy Coker in a road accident in Melbourne, Australia. Both victims hailed from Queensland.

Puneet, who was produced before the court for a short while amidst tight security, would be taken to New Delhi for further interrogation and legal proceedings.

Puneet told mediapersons that his life was under threat in Australia as he was attacked several times in Melbourne, and requested the Indian government to protect him.

"I have been attacked two to three times there (in Australia) after the incident, but I was not given any protection. My life is under threat there, so I want my trial to continue in India only," said Puneet.

Puneet was arrested on November 29 after five-year-long manhunt carried out by Victoria and India police.

Puneet had gone to Australia to take up a course in hospitality. He fled the country in 2009 using a friend's passport after he was found guilty of negligent driving.

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