Delhi: Photography student murdered for objecting to public smoking

First Published 21, Sep 2017, 8:58 AM IST
Delhi Photography student murdered for objecting to public smoking
  • The student and his classmate were looking for shoot sites when the man approached them.
  • He was blowing smoke on their faces, to which they revolted.
  • In an act of revenge, he crashed his vehicle into the motorcycle they were riding on and killed Gurpreet.

21-year-old Gurpreet Singh and his friend did not know that their early morning photography spree would end up like this. They had left at 4 am in search of spots in the National Capital for their photography project when they encountered a drunk man. The man, also the accused, was blowing smoke on their faces when Gurpreet objected to it and warned him that public smoking is an offence. 

The man started passing racial slurs asking them whether their ideas have something to do with their religion. He allegedly said, "If you don't like all this then why do you come to Delhi? If this would have been Assam then you would have been killed and no one would know as well."

The incident happened in South Delhi's Safdarjung area, when after the argument, the man rammed his car into their motorcycle the duo were travelling on and then an autorickshaw and a private cab.

The accused, Rohit Krishna Mohanto, has been taken into custody from Apollo Hospitals where he was being treated for his injuries. He has been booked under Section 302 (murder) and various sections of the Motor Vehicle Act. Gurpreet's friend Maninder who is under treatment and on a wheelchair with injuries to his legs, said, "I was conscious but Gurpreet had fainted. With the help of another man I put him in an auto-rickshaw and headed for the hospital. While we were crossing we saw an auto-rickshaw had turned turtle and a private cab was hit as well. He was coming out of his car after hitting the two vehicles and I realised it was the same man that we had, had an argument with."

Meanwhile, Gurpreet's family and friends in Bhatinda have started an online campaign 'Justice for Gurpreet', demanding justice for the student. The family demanded that the case be not treated as a case of accident, but that of murder since Gurpreet was killed deliberately. It is being said that Mohanto, the accused, had passed out of Jindal University in 2015 and is a practicing lawyer. He was working as the standing counsel for the Assam Government. Police official also revealed that Mohanto's father is a visiting professor at IIT, Delhi.