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Friends increase reward to identify man who mowed down biker

Vinit Sancheti’s friends have increased the reward from the earlier Rs 25,000 to encourage people to come to them with information; meanwhile, cops have found that CCTV cameras near the spot are non-functional

A group of five friends is pulling out all the stops to identify the driver who mowed down their friend and left him to bleed to death. On January 25, Worli resident Vinit Sancheti (38) was killed after an unknown driver rammed into his motorcycle on JNPT Road in Panvel, and fled the spot. Sancheti bled for more than an hour and nobody came to his help. Police were eventually called in and he was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

A reward of Rs 1 lakh will be handed over to the person who helps identify the driver who rammed into Vinit Sancheti’s motorcycle
A reward of Rs 1 lakh will be handed over to the person who helps identify the driver who rammed into Vinit Sancheti’s motorcycle

Five of his closest friends had declared a reward of Rs 25,000 on social networks to anyone who could provide information about the identity of the driver (‘Victim’s friends want your help to solve hit-and-run’, January 28). They have now raised the sum to Rs 1 lakh. The campaign had already started on social media on Facebook (www.facebook.com/justice4vinit), Twitter (@Justice4Vinit) and on the website (justice4vinit.com). All that investigators have in form of evidence is a wheel cap of a Maruti car.

The MiD DAY report on January 28
The MiD DAY report on January 28

Dhawal Oza, one of the five friends who started the campaign, said, “We can get vital information only in these initial days. Once the car gets repaired, it will be very difficult for us to get the culprit. We increased the reward amount because people may not share information for Rs 25,000. But for a local person, Rs 1 lakh amount is sure to grab eyeballs. The police are investigating the case, but we are trying to put in our best to get every detail possible to nab our friend’s killer.”

Beside this, the group has also made posters to display in the area where the accident happened, for the locals who aren’t on social networks. “We have been getting a lot of support from people on our Facebook and Twitter pages, asking us how they can help. But the reward amount has been contributed by us friends,” added Oza.

Defunct CCTVs
Meanwhile, police have reached a major obstacle in the case. Officials of the Kamothe police station, where the FIR was lodged, have found that at the Kalamboli Circle, which is near the accident spot, CCTV cameras are not functioning. T V Utekar, sub-inspector of Kamothe police station, told MiD DAY, “Three months ago, the CCTV cameras had stopped functioning due to a signal problem.

They weren’t fixed and, hence, we aren’t able to get any footage to help us find where the car was from. It is very difficult to trace a driver merely by the wheel cap of his/her car.” Police have written to all garages located in Panvel, Kalamboli and Kamothe, asking them to inform the officials in case any car damaged in an accident is brought to them for repairs, added Utekar.

The campaign
The information can be sent on www.facebook.com/justice4vinit, Twitter (@Justice4Vinit) and on website (justice4vinit.com).

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