The discovery of a 25-year-old man’s body seated in an upright position in a tempo near Motilal Nagar junction on Tuesday led Goregaon cops to a day-long wild goose chase. At the culmination of their investigations, it was revealed that the deceased — Golu Devidas Gawai — had been run over by a motorcyclist and a tempo driver, who were then told by a traffic constable to rush him to hospital. When Gawai died on the way, the two errant drivers panicked, abandoned the tempo with the body in it, and absconded.
Around 5.30 pm on Monday, the deceased Gawai was walking near Milind Nagar, Powai, when he was hit by a speeding motorcyclist from behind. Gawai fell down, and within seconds was mowed down by a tempo, which dragged him for a distance of 15 feet. Traffic constable Shivnath Masal, who saw the incident, intercepted the motorcycle and the tempo. He confiscated the licences of the bike rider N Badani and the tempo driver Sushilkumar Pandey, and asked them to rush Gawai to a nearby hospital. As they sped towards the hospital, the two realised that Gawai had succumbed to his injuries. Panicking, the duo abandoned Gawai’s body in the tempo near the Motilal Nagar junction in Goregaon (West). While Badani went into hiding at his residence, Pandey called up his boss Yadav, and fled. On Tuesday, Goregaon cops received a phone call from locals who had discovered a tempo, with a bruised and battered body inside it, in a seated position.
‘Scrap of paper’
Late on Tuesday night, they sent the body to Cooper hospital for a post mortem, in course of which doctors found the contact number of a person called Tambi scribbled on a piece of paper in Gawai’s pocket. The cops called Tambi, who happened to be a friend of Gawai. Tambi gave cops details of Gawai’s employer, the owner of Ambika Travels.
The employer, when contacted, revealed that someone from the site of accident had found his number in Gawai’s phone, and called him the previous day, telling him that his employee had met with an accident in Powai. He had rushed to the spot and met traffic constable Masal, who had witnessed the accident and sent the two errant drivers to take the victim to hospital. The employer claimed that he had then tried hard, but failed to locate his employee Gawai in any of the nearby hospitals. Goregaon cops then approached the spot of the accident in Powai, and spoke to traffic constable Masal stationed there. Masal recounted how he had witnessed the accident and instructed the two reckless drivers to take Gawai to hospital for treatment. He had no knowledge of what had happened after.
“Based on the statement given the victim’s employer, we contacted the Powai police who told us that Pandey, the tempo driver who had run over Gawai, had been last seen rushing Gawai to hospital,” said Arun Jadhav, senior police inspector of Goregaon police station.Using the tempo’s licence plate number, cops traced it to its owner Laljee Yadav in Lokhandwala. Yadav told the police that Pandey, the driver who had run over Gawai, had contacted him to tell him that the tempo had been robbed, and then switched off his phone. Yadav had failed to establish contact with Pandey after that phone call. Armed with details of Pandey obtained from Yadav and the confiscated licences provided by traffic constable Masal, Goregaon cops arrested the two drivers, and handed them over to the Powai police.