Over-speeding car claims lives of two morning walkers

Wednesday 22 February 2012, 11:22 AM by

A speeding vehicle has yet again resulted in death of pedestrians. The Swift DZire with the registration number DL-2CAL-1285 ran through the pavement and rammed into two men. This accident happened at about 6:45 am when Raghu Rajan (48) and Sultan Singh (50) had set off from their respective homes for morning walk in Gautam Nagar area. According to recent reports, the person driving Maruti DZire has been identified as Manoj, who works as a cleaner for Kartik Pande (Under Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs) at his Asiad Village residence.

After investigation by the police, it was concluded that Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire has been registered in the name of Esha Srivastava (wife of Kartik Pande). Kartik Pande, an Indian Foreign Services (IFS) officer (2006 batch), stated that Manoj took the keys of the car without permission. Police added that Manoj returned the car keys at about 7:30 am but nobody checked the location of the car. Pande was unaware about the accident and that is why he lodged complaint at the police station.

As per the statement given by Chhaya Sharma, DCP, South District, Police Control Room (PCR) received the call regarding the accident at around 6:45 am. According to the DCP, the accident took place at August Kranti Marg. On arriving at the Trauma Centre of AIIMS both Sultan Singh and Rahgu Rajan were declared dead. The DCP stated that the case of negligent driving resulting in death has been registered at the Hauz Khas Police Station.

Manoj who was driving the Maruti Swift DZire has suffered minor injuries and Mahesh (Manoj’s friend) fractured his hand during the collision. There were three other boys inside the car, who luckily escaped unhurt. According to a security guard, an eyewitness, “There were five boys in the car. The car was being driven at a very high speed and the driver hit the two men walking on the pavement. Driver and all the occupants of the car then got down and boarded a bus to escape from the spot.”

After a brief meeting with the Investigating Officer (IO), Manoj admitted that he took the car keys without permission and picked up his four other friends for joy ride. Manoj confessed that he returned the car keys to Esha Srivastava at 7:30 am but did not notify her about the accident. DCP commented, “Manoj had returned the keys to Pande’s wife. His wife was at fault as she did not check whether the car was parked or not.”

Though the police has filed a case against Manoj, the family members of the deceased think otherwise. They believe that Kartik Pandey was driving the car and senior officials are covering up the entire situation by declaring his servant as the accused. The nephew of Sultan Singh stated, “The owner of the car lodged the complaint of his car’s theft just to prove his innocence. It is not possible that a senior officer’s car goes missing from his house and he does not even get to know. The police are trying to save the IFS officer, who was probably driving the car.”

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