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Rajkanya Baruah car accident’s sole witness told not to add ‘drink and drive’ in statement by police

By Devabrata Dutta

GUWAHATI: Rajkanya Baruah, a so-called event stylist and a former Femina Miss India contestant, has hit and toppled a PWD vehicle injuring eight on-duty workers, including an unidentified pedestrian who lost his one leg, during the curfew hours in Guwahati’s Rukmini gaon area allegedly in a drunkard state on October 2 at around 2 am with her speeding car.

29-year-old Rajkanya Baruah was granted bail within 24 hours, the reason cited not having any serious allegations and IPC sections. Not even violation of COVID-19 norms and protocols for driving during the curfew hours. This raised fingers on Assam police and a social media outrage embarked across the state.

Rajkanya Baruha’s Chevrolet car after the accident

To know more about the incident, InsideNE searched for the only eye witness of that heinous incident of October 2, Shahnowaj Chaudhury.

“We’ve just started working and for the same purpose, we blocked one side of the road and made it one way. The mini tempo was parked on the blocked side of the road for the unloading of road construction stones. In no time her car crashed through the “Men at work” signboards and hit at our vehicle which then swept my eight co-workers along with it,” said only eye witness of the incident, Shanowaj Chaudhury talking with InsideNE.

“Only I survived that accident without getting harmed and didn’t know what to do seeing my co-workers lying on road, screaming in pain, some fainted. Police arrived within 30 minutes or so. Then she started abusing and resisting the investigation. From her behaviour, it was very much clear that she was in possession of some addictive substance. May be liquor or drugs I do not know,” Shanowaj added.

Also Read: Assam CID registers case against Teachers who forged TET Certificate

Rajkanya Baruah, on the other hand, uploaded a series of stories on her Instagram account constantly blaming media for “fabricating” the accident of which she herself is a “victim”.

Rajkanya Baruah
Men At Work – signboards at working site

“Multiple accidents in the city, where death has happened and the only one highlighted is mine,” Rajkanya wrote in a post on Instagram. She also said that being a depression patient due to targeted attacks if she ended her life then the media will be solely responsible.

Allegedly in her another Instagram story, Rajkanya also claimed that had she been drunk or guilty of anything her license would’ve been seized by police, which did not happen. Later IO Sahir Ali, who reached the spot after the accident, informed InsideNE that he seized her license immediately.

Now the question arises, why police hesitated to mention drink and drive in the statement of eyewitness and instead put attempt to murder in complaint no. 3616/21 under Dispur Police Station.

On asked, eye witness Shahnowaj said, “I did not write my statement because I have no idea about these things. It was recorded by police and during that time I was told that drink and drive would not make a strong case and I should not mention that.”

However, Shahnowaj hesitated to mention the police officer’s name on record.

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Shahnowaj added,”Now that I said that I want to mention the drink and drive in my statement, I was told that it cannot be re-added without OC sir’s permission.”

Later in the evening yesterday, Shahnowaj informed that he was going to file a case at Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court Kamrup where he has mentioned Rajkanya Baruah’s drunk state during the time of that accident.

Interestingly, even when InsideNE asked two I.O.s Traffic Branch Sub-Inspector (UB) Sahir Ali and Women Branch Sub-inspector (UB) Abha Rani Gogoi several times why Rajkanya Baruah’s drink and driving was not mentioned they did not say anything properly. However, Ali said that it was to establish from the medical reports but Gogoi had no proper answer even on whether they have sent a requisition for the same or not even after being assigned as I.O. for the case.

It was later informed by Gauhati Medical College and Hospital Superintendant Abhijit Sharma in the media that the unidentified person said his name was Joseph. It was also informed that his right leg was amputated through surgery and the patient was still not in his conscious mind.

The detached leg of Joseph recovered from Rajkanya’s vehicle bonnet

Joseph’s left leg was recovered from Rajkanya Baruah’s car bonnet after the accident.

Rajkanya Baruah also claimed that the PWD Mahindra Jeeto toppled because it was carrying 9 people “illegally” and could not bear the hit of her vehicle though she was just at a speed of 50-50 kmph. However, IO Ali and eye witness Shahnowaj have denied her claims.

When InsideNE inspected the two vehicles, the construction stones that were carried by the PWD vehicle was the same as the stones present on Rajkanya Baruah’s car windshield.

“It was not her first case. She had done the same kind of crime in 2018 as well. She was coming out with a guy from Hotel Palacio. Then they had some argument on the street over something. When the boy tried to escape from there on his Royal Enfield, Rajkanya speeded her car and knocked him down from behind. The boy had to be admitted to a Bangalore hospital later. She was granted bail that time as well. How?” Said a police official on condition of anonymity.

However, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who holds the Home portfolio as well, expressed his dissatisfaction over this recent development and assured justice.

“If she was granted bail due to police negligence then the police will be held responsible. Bail does not mean she is spared. Just wait for two to three more days and see what happens,” said CM Sarma talking with the media persons.

On the other hand, I.O.s Ali and Gogoi closed to police reserve on Monday and were held responsible for not writing a proper FIR, as reported.

Rajkanya Baruah
The PWD vehicle -Mahindra Jeeto

Another police official, on contacted, denied giving any statement and said.”Later lower-grade officials like us will be made scapegoats. Hence I do not wanna get into this. Whatever you want it’s on paper.”

How Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, who take immense pride in the state’s police force and always had supported, will handle the matter to get it a smooth ending towards justice Or will it remain another failure of our system will be worth watching.

The police have also summoned Rajkanya Baruah today. Baruah is currently admitted in GNRC Guwahati for treatment for her injuries during the accident.

Rajkanya Baruah had violated Covid-19 protocol under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code by roaming in the streets during the curfew hours.

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