Abhimanyu Gaud, a 21-year-old IAF official, was killed in an unfortunate accident when an Audi came speeding towards him and hit him during the rehearsal hours of the Republic Day Parade in Kolkata on Wednesday. The road is normally closed for civilian traffic during the rehearsal hours but the car cruising down from the Vidyasagar Setu broke three barricades and knocked him off his feet.

Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud, the Air Force drill instructor supervising the parade, was knocked off and his body was dragged more than 20 metres.

Kolkata Traffic Police personnel said that they tried to stop the car just before it went to the road leading to Vidyasagar Setu and broke the barricades. 

It is suspected that the car was being driven by either Ambia Sohrab or Sambia Sohrab, the sons of former RJD MLA and current TMC leader Mohammed Sohrab. 

The Kolkata police Commissioner said, “It is an unprecedented thing – breaking the grid rails. We have gone through the CCTV footages of the place and found that there was only one person inside the car. We are looking into every aspect of the incident.”

A defence official confirmed that the car continued to move at high speed till it hit a barricade and came to a halt near Fort William, the military’s eastern command headquarters. 

Police officials said that the driver abandoned the car along Red Road, destroyed the temporary licence number issued to new vehicles and sprayed perfume inside and outside the car – possibly to cover up the smell of liquor, before fleeing the scene.

Kolkata Police found a challan in the car through which they got the address of the showroom that sold the vehicle. The showroom records showed that the car belonged to TMC leader Mohammad Sohrab’s son, Ambia Sohrab.

The young Corporal sustained injuries on his head and multiple fractures. He was rushed to Eastern Command Hospital where the doctors declared him dead. 

“Our team went to the Sohrab’s house but it was found locked and the Sohrabs were missing,” a Police official said.

Shameful, to say the least. Makes us wonder how safe we are if gated and protected areas are this vulnerable to completely irresponsible drivers. Also, how many more brave and innocent men like Gaud are going to pay for carelessness before we learn our lesson?

Kolkata Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “All strong action must be taken. Even after seeing that a parade rehearsal is going on and the total area has been barricaded how come somebody breaks in. It raises the question whether the person driving the car was okay or not. This is very unfortunate and a serious matter. We have lost a life.

We hope justice is delivered soon.