Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Apr 20:
Commissionerate Police this evening arrested the driver of the police van which had hit a teacher of a school in the Odisha capital from behind on Tankapani Road, killing him on the spot.
The accused was identified as Rankanidhi Barik (58), posted as driver in the van bearing registration number- OR 05 AE 9064 of the 7th Battalion here.
Eye witnessed present on the spot at the time of the accident said Barik was in drunken state while driving the van. Shockingly, about 20 police personnel present inside the van, instead of carrying the injured teacher to the nearby hospital, remained mute spectators, they added.
The van was carrying police personnel to the Gadakuntunia village under Balakati block on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar where the daru (neem tree) selected for the idol of Lord Sudarshan is located, sources added.
Soon after the accident, irate locals had damaged the police van and blocked the road for several hours demanding action against the driver and compensation to the family members of the deceased.
Pramod Kumar Das, a teacher of Buxi Jagabandhu English Medium (BJEM) School, was on the way to the school on his bike when the accident occured. His body was later taken to Capital Hospital for post-mortem.
When contacted, Sahid Nagar police station officials confirmed the arrest of Barik but replied in the negative when asked whether the driver was in drunken state while driving.