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Model Sonika dies in car crash; actor Bikram hurt

Model Sonika dies in car crash; actor Bikram hurt
Celebrated model Sonika Chauhan died and actor Bikram Chatterjee was seriously injured when the car in which they were travelling mounted a pavement on Rashbehari Avenue near Lake Mall and crashed against a wall at around 3:30 am on Saturday. Chauhan died shortly after admission to a private hospital on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass while Chatterjee has been admitted there. The Tollygunge police station has started a suo motu case under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee enquired about Chatterjee's condition and sent State Youth Affairs Minister Aroop Biswas to the hospital, where he spoke to Chatterjee's relatives and the doctors attending the actor and assured them of all help. A four-member medical board has been constituted to treat Chatterjee. Meanwhile, Chatterjee's father is likely to file a case against Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, asking why the car's air bags did not open at the time of the crash. It was when another vehicle suddenly came out from Tara Road that the Toyota Altis carrying Chauhan and Chatterjee, which was moving from east to west along Rashbehari Avenue, hit the road divider, mounted the pavement and crashed against the wall.

Hearing the loud noise, some local youths rushed to the spot and found the duo lying inside the vehicle in a pool of blood. The front grille of the premium car was smashed and because of the impact of the accident, the body of the vehicle and the wheels got badly damaged.

The locals informed the police and took the duo to the hospital where Chatterjee was given five stitches and Chauhan was taken to the ITU where she died soon after. The police said that the vehicle was moving at a speed of more than 100 km per hour when the mishap took place. They are investigating whether the two passengers had their seat belts on as eyewitnesses told them that when they rescued them, they found that they were not wearing the seat belts. Motor car experts said that the air bags do not open if the seat belts are not worn.

A medical bulletin issued by the private hospital where Chatterjee has been admitted said "his injury has been repaired immediately and he is presently undergoing treatment under a team of doctors comprising a general surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, neuro surgeon and physician. Chatterjee's father said the actor had been on his way back after shooting. Actors from Tolywood and Bikram's friends rushed to the hospital.

Chauhan's post mortem has been completed and the final rites will be conducted after her father, who lives in Bengaluru, arrives in the city.
Tarun Goswami

Tarun Goswami

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