Melbourne Police launch manhunt for Indian killer, ready to come to India

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Melbourne, Aug.21 (ANI): Melbourne Police are planning to hunt down a drunk Indian driver, who is believed to have fled the country after he killed a 19-year-old university student in Melbourne's Central Business District.

Inspector Richard Watkins from the major collision unit said Victoria Police would do everything in its power to pursue Puneet Puneet, including sending officers to India if necessary.

A County Court warrant was issued for the 19-year-old yesterday after he failed to appear for a court hearing where he was to plead guilty to culpable driving and negligent driving causing serious injury.

Police believe he left on a flight for India, hours after reporting to police on bail on June 12.

They allege Puneet was driving at 150km/h in a 60km/h zone and had a blood-alcohol reading of .165 when he hit and killed Dean Hofstee and seriously injured Clancy Coker, 20, on a City Road footpath in Southbank last October.

Sukhcharanjit Singh, 20, of Reservoir was yesterday charged with giving Puneet his passport and being reckless as to whether it would be used by him for travel and identity.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said today police would be applying to extradite Puneet as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Dean Hofstee's mother Fran said she feared her son's killer would not be returned to Australia to face justice because it would cost too much.

Hofstee, a nursing student, and Mr Coker were in Melbourne attending the Australian University Games when they were struck.

The Office of Public Prosecutions said in a statement that the cost of an extradition would not be considered in the decision to pursue Puneet. (ANI)

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