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Chandigarh’s drunk driving victim was planning a birthday party for wife on Friday evening

Police broke the news to the family of Gyan Massih at their house in Sector 41, Chandigarh, in the afternoon as the identity card he was carrying had his old address.

punjab Updated: Jul 02, 2017 11:29 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,road accidents in Chandigarh,drunk driving
Victim Gyan Massih

Gyan Masih wanted to throw a surprise birthday party for his wife, Josetheen, on Friday evening. “It is a birthday I will never forget,” she said. Her 55-year-old husband was killed in an accident on Friday morning, the news of which she received five hours later.

Masih, a Christian preacher and a labour contractor for the whitewash of buildings, was killed after a drunk engineer rammed his Fortuner into his scooter. The driver had jumped a traffic light on the road dividing Sectors 17 and 16 on Friday morning.

Having bagged a new contract with a nationalised bank, Masih was on his way to work with one of his employees, Madan Lal. He left home at about 8.30am, promising to return soon.

The SUV jumped a traffic light, hit the scooter and a Maruti Swift car along with one more vehicle near the Chandigarh municipal corporation building. (HT Photos)

A relative, Deepak, said, “Vikas and his father had meticulously planned a surprise birthday party for Josetheen.”

Masih’s family — wife Josetheen, son Vikas and daughter Vanita — were unaware of his death for more than five hours.

Madan, who was riding pillion when the accident took place, gave an address to police. But the family had shifted from that address and police could not trace the family till noon. It was at about 1.30pm when Vikas received a phone call from police, asking him to come to the hospital.

Masih belonged to Saharanpur and was settled in Chandigarh for more than four decades. He has two sons — Amandeep, who works in Canada for a transportation company, and his younger son, Vikas, who assisted his father. His daughter, Vanita, works as a patient care. Masih’s youngest son Babbu was killed in an accident six years ago.

Masih and his wife visited Amandeep in Canada last year. The family is awaiting Amandeep’s return from Canada so that he can be there for his father’s funeral. Masih’s body is kept in the morgue at GMSH-16, Chandigarh.

DRINK-DRIVING ON THE RISE
  • Drink-driving challans in 2017: 2,000
  • Total road accidents: 150
  • Accidents in which drink-driving was established: 3, including Gyan Masih
  • May 22: Police arrested Joginder Singh, a resident of Rabi Majra village in Mohali for drink-driving. He was arrested after he assaulted a pedestrian.
  • April 10: Innova driver Raj Singh of Badmajra village in Mohali booked after he crushed two Burail residents
ROAD ACCIDENTS IN CHANDIGARH
  • 2017: 10 deaths in 150 accidents
  • 2016: 144 deaths in 432 accidents
  • 2015: 124 deaths in 419 accidents

EMPLOYEE IDENTIFIES ACCUSED

Madan, who sustained injuries in the accident, identified the driver of the Fortuner as 26-year-old Satyajot Singh. He is an engineer and a resident of Sector 70 in Mohali.

THE CASE

Satyajot hit a Maruti Swift and a Hyundai Verna when he was trying to flee the spot. Eyewitnesses said his Fortuner did not start after its air bags opened up.

“People caught him as he was trying to run away from the crime scene near the Chandigarh municipal corporation building. He even tried to strike a compromise with Madan before he was arrested,” said police.

Satyajot’s father, Harbhajan Singh, is a real estate developer in Mohali.

Chandigarh deputy superintendent of police (Central) Ram Gopal said, “Satyajot was drunk when the accident took place. We have his medical report that confirms the same.”

A case was registered under Sections 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 304A (causing death by negligence), 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code. Police have added Section 185 (driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs) of the Motor Vehicle Act.

First Published: Jul 01, 2017 13:08 IST