KOCHI: Every contact leaves a trace. This basic principle seems to have helped the police crack a hit-and-run case that happened a month ago.When the Palarivattom police started the probe to trace the culprit(s) in the incident, which left a worker from West Bengal bedridden and another with broken bones, the only evidence they had was the CCTV footage.
In the mishap which occurred around 9pm on May 28, the migrant workers from West Bengal — 44-year-old Bishnu Mondal and 42-year-old Nipun Biswas — were hit by a pick-up van at Padivattom near Palarivattom when they were returning home after work.
Though Bishnu suffered a deep gash in his head, neither the driver nor the local people helped take them to hospital. Instead, officers from the Palarivattom police station had to reach the scene and take the injured to the hospital.
The police then started the probe to trace the pick-up van driver but they received only grainy CCTV footage of the vehicle. The registration number of the vehicle couldn’t be made out. “After examining footage from 100 CCTV cameras, we could establish that a tempo van had hit the migrant workers. Since it was a lockdown period, there were only a few vehicles on the road. But our investigation came to a halt as we couldn’t find any lead in the case. The CCTV footage didn’t provide any clues about the registration number of the vehicle,” said a police officer.
However, the investigation team got a major breakthrough when they took the CCTV footage to actor Lal’s editing studio near Palarivattom. With the help of the state-of-the-art editing suite there, some distinctive features of the vehicle were found. It had three reflectors, a modified front bumper, broken mirrors and a specially designed body.
“Though such pick-up vans look similar, owners make a lot of changes. Some people will add a front bumper and others will write some names. But here, we could identify a lot of specialities that differentiate it from other models.
We shared the picture of the vehicle with our informers and other police stations in the district. Following this, one of our informers spotted the vehicle near Thevakkal. We rushed to the spot and the accused confessed to causing the accident,” a officer added. Police arrested Martin, 30, of Pottankadu, Idukki, who allegedly drove the vehicle. “The worker, who is bedridden following the accident, could move the insurance papers only if we caught the driver. Fortunately, we could nab him. The victim got justice,” he said, adding that the drivers should at least show the mercy to take the victims of accidents to the hospital.
“Kurian, contractor of the migrant workers, has already spent Rs 7 lakh for their treatment as Bishnu had to undergo brain surgery,” the officer added. Mahin P A, a civil police officer, who along with officers Rajesh S and Arun S carried out the probe under the guidance of Palarivattom Inspector Girish N, Sub Inspector Pradeep and ASI Pavithran.