Kolkata: An Indian Air Force (IAF) officer supervising the Republic Day parade rehearsal here was killed on Wednesday after a speeding car hit him and sped away, officials said.
Shocked how the vehicle broke the barricades and entered Red Road where the rehearsal was on, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee promised strict action against the guilty.
"A speeding Audi car knocked down Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud, who was supervising the parade, before hitting a barricade and coming to a halt. He was declared dead at a hospital," a defence ministry spokesperson said.
Gaud, 21, hailed from Surat in Gujarat and was stationed at the Kaliakunda air base. He was here as a drill instructor for the Republic Day Parade.
Police have launched a manhunt to nab the driver and raided the residence of a former Rashtriya Janata Dal legislator from Kolkata.
The vehicle, purchased recently, is said to have been registered in the name of the former legislator's son. The temporary number plate of the vehicle was found missing.
Banerjee, who visited the accident site and the hospital, said it was "a very unfortunate" incident.
"I wonder how the vehicle managed to break several barricades and enter the practice zone. The incident is very unfortunate.
"We have ordered that murder charges be (pressed) and the guilty is handed stringent punishment," she said.
Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha said efforts were on to nab the culprit.
"It is unprecedented. We are examining CCTV footage," he said.