Bhowanipore resident Sujit Bhattacharya was driving home with his wife and kids after buying biryani when a child, who got separated from his parents, accidentally darted to the road, right in front of his car. According to Bhattacharya, it was too late for him to brake, and when he did, he realised the child was seriously injured.
Instead of fleeing the crime scene, as most perpetrators of road accidents do, he asked his family to get off the car to make space for the hurt child and his parents and proceeded to drive them to the nearest hospital, the Telegraph reported.
That's when trouble started. Bhattacharya, 45, told the police that the four-year-old's relatives repeatedly beat him up from the back seat.
"The man was making calls alerting people that his son was dead and asking them to come," he said. Bhattacharya realised that he was being led to a furious mob when instead of asking him to take the boy straight to a hospital, the relatives of the boy kept directing him to go elsewhere.
So he decided to drive to Tollygunge police station instead where he was booked for rash driving (IPC Section 279) and causing death due to negligence (Section 304A), and granted bail. He told the paper that when they realised he's going to a police station, the beatings intensified.
He faces up to two years in jail.
The Supreme Court in 2016 approved the Centre's guidelines to protect good samaritans from being harassed by police or other authorities. PTI reported that a Bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra asked the central government to give wide publicity to these guidelines so that people who help others in the time of distress are not victimised by any authority.
Bhattacharya's dread is understandable, given a recently rise in mob lynchings, with the latest being the murder of a police officer in Jammu and Kashmir. Deputy Superintendent of Police Ayub Pandith was beaten to death in front of Srinagar's Jamia Masjid.