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A month on, Police fail to arrest killer driver of Lucknow’s hit and run case of Dolly Srivastava

Hit and run cases are very common in India and very few states seem to have taken it seriously

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The vehicle (as seen in this picture) came on the wrong side and hit Dolly Srivastava, who was standing near her home, and fled away. She succumbed to her injuries on the spot. According to the sources, it is a CNG vehicle that still must be plying on Lucknow's roads with impunity. The reckless driver is yet to be arrested.
  • Dolly Srivastava, a resident of Lucknow, passed away on June 16,2016 after being hit by a speeding vehicle
  • FIR had been launched against the unknown violators, immediately
  • Till now, no fruitful action has been taken by the authorities to find and arrest the killers of Dolly Srivastava

Dolly Srivastava, 55, a resident of Lucknow’s tony residential locality, Gomti Nagar, lost her life after being hit by a speeding small goods carrier near her home on June 16, 2016. It has been a month since the fatal accident, but thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the local police, the killer vehicle, and its reckless driver are still at large.

According to the eyewitnesses, she was standing close to her residence gate in the morning when the vehicle, that was loaded with empty vegetable trays, came on the wrong side, hit and ran away. The victim was grievously injured in the mishap and succumbed to her injuries on the spot. A FIR under Sections 279 and 304A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, against unknown persons, was lodged at the Gomti Nagar police station.

Kishore and Dolly Srivastava
In this picture, Dolly Srivastava is seen with her husband NC Kishore Srivastava
In a state which witnessed the maximum number of road deaths (17,666) last year, one may expect the authorities to act firmly to curb the menace of rash and negligent driving on its streets, roads, and highways, and arrest the one responsible for such road crash deaths. But the high numbers of such fatalities only prove the point that it doesn’t. Even in this case, there has been no trace of effort on the police’s part whatsoever to bring the culprits to book.
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A page from the First Information Report (F.I.R.)
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A page from the First Information Report (F.I.R.)
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A page from the First Information Report (F.I.R.)
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A page from the First Information Report (F.I.R.)
NC Kishore Srivastava, the deceased woman’s husband, has been running from pillar to post since then to get the police into action. First, Srivastava and his family procured the CCTV footage from the school opposite his residence, which relented to share it after a lot of persuasions. “If the police had intervened, it would have been easier to lay hands on many such important pieces of evidence,” said a family member. From then on, he has done everything possible to hunt for the killer vehicle and its driver.”
The police, meanwhile, hasn’t shown a proactive interest in the case. As it is a common man who lost her life, with no high-flying contacts, the police seems to be least bothered,” said Smriti Trivedi, a neighbour of the Srivastavas.
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It has been Srivastava who has been suggesting them crucial leads in a hope that the police being the law-keeper would be able to bring the killer to book. He shared the CCTV footage with the police to ascertain the number plate of the said vehicle from the forensic lab. Unfortunately, the number provided by the lab and the vehicle caught by the police didn’t match; the colour of the vehicle nabbed by the police was green while the one as shown in the footage was creme and green. He then requested the police to interrogate local vendors of the nearby wholesale vegetable and fruits markets, and even provided a list of such small goods carriers procured by him from the Regional Transport Office, and a list of CNG run vehicles from the makers, JSA, who are based in Kanpur. “But nothing has happened as far as the interrogation of the shortlisted vehicle owners and vegetable vendors are concerned. I am calling the police officers daily to know the progress in the case. But it has been a futile exercise so far. If the police had launched a serious manhunt based on these leads, the culprit would have surely been behind bars by now,” said Srivastava, dejected with the tardy pace of police investigation.

Another neighbour raised a pertinent question: “If ordinary citizens have to do what the police is supposed to be doing, then what good does it serve to have them around us in the first place?” Even after so much being handed over to them to make their task of investigation easier, the police has chosen to stay indifferent to the family’s plea to arrest the reckless driver and confiscate his vehicle, fearing that both must be moving on the city’s roads with impunity.

The family is bereaved at the untimely loss of a dear one and feels that if the authorities do not act promptly and swiftly to arrest the culprit, God forbid, he may hit another person and still stay scot-free.

The other concern raised by Srivastava include bringing back speed breakers as mandated by the law in the residential areas. “It may to some extent check speed limits of vehicles and, in turn, reduce road crash tragedies in residential areas,” he said.

An invaluable piece of advice: If the state government is serious about curbing the fatalities on its roads, streets, and highways, it must take act now to show that it cares for its people. The state government, its traffic police, and state transport department should take a cue from the West Bengal government that has launched the “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign with a focus on saving lives on the road by maintaining road culture, sensible driving, road safety, and caring for all road users.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday appealed to the people to respect policemen as they were "friends and not enemy". Wikimedia Commons

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday appealed to the people to respect policemen as they were “friends and not enemy”, telling the force to handle violent situations calmly by remembering the advice of independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Speaking at the 73rd Raising Day of Delhi Police, the Minister said that police ensures peace and security in the country without religion and caste considerations. Hence, he said, police needs to be respected.

“It (police) helps when needed. It is not an enemy of anyone. It is a friend in maintaining peace and tranquility. So it should be respected. I appeal to the people that those who criticise the police should be heard. There is no problem in it. But, we should not overlook the fact that over 35,000 policemen have sacrificed their lives in protecting the country since Independence,” Shah said.

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Since 1991, Shah said, 30 Delhi policemen have died in the line of duty. He recalled the sacrifices of five Delhi Police Constables who lost their lives while protecting Parliament during a terror attack there on December 13, 2001.

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