Attempt made to show teen was not driving Porsche, says Pune top cop, admits to probe lapses

Pune, May 24 (PTI) An attempt was made to make it appear that the Porsche that fatally knocked down two persons in Kalyani Nagar area here was not driven by a 17-year-old but by his family’s driver, the Pune police chief said on Friday as two police officials were suspended for lapses committed during the probe.

A local court remanded the six accused arrested in the case, including the teenager’s father Vishal Agarwal, in judicial custody even though police sought their further custody.

Late in the evening, the probe was transferred to the crime branch from the Yerawada police station where the initial case was registered.

Elsewhere, the Madhya Pradesh-based parents of the two IT professionals who were killed in the accident on May 19 demanded that the Supreme Court monitor the probe and the trial be held in their state.

There was enough evidence showing that the teenager was driving the car, Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar told reporters.

“We have the CCTV footage of him (juvenile) drinking liquor in the pub…..He was fully in his senses, he had full knowledge that due to his conduct, such an accident, where IPC section 304 is applicable, can happen,” Kumar said. Section 304 deals with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

On reports of the juvenile being served pizza after the incident, Kumar said “a pizza party didn’t happen in the police station.”

“But yes, something had happened on which we have initiated an internal investigation,” he added.

“During our investigation, it has clearly emerged that the juvenile was driving the car and we have already collected all the necessary chronological evidence. For example, when the juvenile left the house, the entry on the security register shows that he left with the car,” the commissioner said.

As per the police, the driver employed by the teenager’s family was in the car. Kumar said attempts were made to show that he was at the wheel and not the teen when the vehicle fatally knocked down two persons on motorbike around 3 am on Sunday.

The commissioner conceded that while the juvenile was sent to Sassoon General Hospital around 9 am on Sunday, his blood samples were collected at 11 pm, but maintained that “blood report is not the pillar of our case.” The report was yet to be received.

In the initial FIR, section 304 A (death by negligence) was applied but it was revised with section 304 the same day as the crime warranted that (more serious) section, Kumar said.

There are complaints that some eyewitnesses were pressured, he said. “If such things come to the fore, strict action will be taken against the police officer concerned,” he added.

Vadgaon Sheri’s NCP MLA Sunil Tingre did visit the police station after the accident, the commissioner said, but added that “it won’t be correct to say that the direction of the investigation was impacted due to this.”

After the accident, the minor was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board which granted him bail while asking him to write a 300-word essay. Following an outcry over quick bail and the police’s review plea, the Board on Wednesday remanded the teen, son of real estate developer Vishal Agarwal, to the observation home till June 5.

The police arrested Agarwal for `exposing a child to danger’, and the owner and employees of two bars where the teen had consumed alcohol for `serving liquor to an underage person’. On Friday, the prosecution sought extension of their police custody, but the sessions court remanded all six accused in judicial custody till June 7. They are expected to file bail pleas next week.

Soon after commissioner Kumar said that inquiry was underway into alleged lapses on part of police, inspector Rahul Jagdale and assistant police inspector Vishwanath Todkari of Yerawada police station were suspended for “late reporting” and “dereliction of duty”.

Parents of Anish Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, both 24-year-old IT professionals who died in the June 19 accident, said they will not rest till they got justice.

Suresh Kumar Koshta, Ashwini’s father, told reporters in Jabalpur that the Supreme Court should monitor the investigation and trial.

“I am going to fight for justice till my last breath,” Anish’s father Om Prakash Awadhiya said over the phone. The trial should be held in Madhya Pradesh and not in Pune, he demanded. PTI SPK LAL MAS ARU NR VT KRK

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