NEW DELHI, Sept 21 - Angry at being asked not to smoke in public, a �drunk� lawyer from Assam allegedly rammed his car into the motorcycle of a 21-year-old youth near the AIIMS Trauma Centre in south Delhi on Sunday. The youth succumbed to his injuries yesterday, following which the lawyer, Rohit Krishna Mahanta, was arrested.
Police had initially booked the accused for rash driving and causing hurt by an act of negligence, and released him on bail. But, after the victim Gurpreet Singh died, the police re-arrested Mahanta and slapped charges of murder on him.
The victim�s family alleged that police had initially tried to ignore the true facts and sought to pass it off as a simple case of accident, which resulted in the lawyer getting the bail. However, once the victim�s friend, who was also injured in the accident, narrated the incident yesterday and the case was highlighted by media, Delhi police booked the lawyer for murder.
The victim had been in coma since Sunday. He was pursuing a course in the Delhi College of Photography, and stayed with his classmate Maninder Singh. The duo had visited the AIIMS in the early hours of Sunday to shoot a documentary on the lives of outstation patients and their relatives. Once done with their work around 3.30 am, they went to have food outside the hospital. They got into the confrontation after dinner.
�The accused was smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke into the youths� faces. As the smoke caused irritation, they requested Mahanta to avoid smoking in public,� police sources said.
But the request was allegedly met with verbal abuse and death threats.
Sensing that the argument was turning violent, the two friends reportedly picked up their Bullet and left.
They barely rode 500 metres when a speeding Ford Fiesta allegedly rammed into their bike from behind outside the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Before coming to a halt, the car also went on to hit an autorickshaw and an Ola cab, leaving both the vehicles badly damaged.
As Maninder sought an auto driver�s help to move his friend to the trauma centre nearby, public gathered at the spot and thrashed Mahanta.
A resident of south Delhi�s Defence Colony, Mahanta is working under a standing counsel of the Assam government.
�His medical examination showed he was drunk,� said police sources.