While smoking in public places is prohibited in India people don’t seem to care much about the rules & regulations, in turn, making it difficult for non-smokers to stand beside them.
However, it’s probably the first case in the recent times that someone was killed for objecting to public smoking.A 21-year-old man was killed while his friend was severely injured(now out of danger) after their bike was hit in the wee hours of Monday.
The duo Gurpreet Singh (21) and his friend Maninder Singh (22), both students of photography, had earlier objected to the public smoking by the accused after which an altercation broke out between them.The incident took place on Sunday in south Delhi when the two friends, both students of photography, went out at night to shoot their documentary on pavement dwellers.
At around 4 am, they stopped at a food joint near Safdarjung hospital’s casualty ward. While they were eating, one man Rohit Krishna Mahanta, stood next to them and started smoking. The accused was reportedly in a drunk state.
The Hindu quoted Maninder, who was injured, as saying “We were working on our project ‘Life of people on footpath in Delhi’ after which we stopped to eat something. This man was drunk and started blowing cigarette smoke in our face. We objected as we are Sikhs and smoking is against our religious beliefs,” said Maninder.“He got into an argument and said that if we were in Assam, he would kill us and no one would get to know,” he added.
The reports later confirmed that the accused was in a drunk state beyond permissible limits. An eyewitness told police that after the locals intervened the duo left the place.
As per IndiaToday report, when the two left the place on their motorcycle, reportedly Mahanta followed them in his Ford Figo. The accused rammed the bike from behind, also hitting an autorickshaw and a private cab in the process. Mahanta managed to flee the spot.
Both Gurpreet and Maninder fell from the bike. Locals called the police control room and they were rushed to the AIIMS trauma centre. Gurpreet succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.
“Based on the complaint, Mahanta, a resident of Defence Colony, was booked. He was arrested and later released on bail,” a police officer told the media.Mahanta, a Defence Colony resident of is a lawyer under the Standing Counsel of Assam government and his father Anil Kumar is a doctor.
Based on the cab driver’s statement on Monday, the police registered a case under Section 279 (rash driving) and 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) against the driver. However, on Wednesday, murder charges were also added after Maninder gave his statement.