Drunk driver rams into 17 kids, dies while being taken to court

A group of schoolchildren making their way home after school cheated death after a man alleged to have been driving under the influence of alcohol knocked 17 of them down at Nira-Baramati Road on Wednesday evening. Police arrested the driver who was identified as Popat alias Prabhakar Hanumantrao Gulumkar (50), a resident of Wadgaon Nimbalkar. He, however, died yesterday while the police were producing him in a local court. 

The children escaped with minor injuries and are undergoing treatment at Baramati and Lonand hospital. The injured children have been identified as Pradnya Rajesh Kenjale, Shraddha Somnath Deshmukh, Unnati Mukund Kulkarni and her sister Mrunal, Priyanka Dilip Karche and her sister Monali, Yogita Dnyaneshwar Sorte and her sister Priti, Akshay Khanderao Magar and his brother Aakash, Gayatri Popat Kolte, Abhishek Shivaji Korde, Priyanka Gorakh Holkar and her brother Suraj, Viraj Rajendra Kulkarni, Aniket Vasant Salunke and Vrushali Ankush Jadhav. A case was registered against Gulumkar at the Wadgaon Nimbalkar police station on Wednesday late night.

He was brought to the Additional District and Sessions Court at Baramati on Thursday afternoon. Gulumkar was being accompanied by his relatives Balasaheb Kisan Gulumkar, Manajit Prabhakar Gulumkar and Sanjay Shravan Salve. While he was stepping out of the police vehicle, Gulumkar started feeling uneasy. He was immediately shifted to the Rui rural hospital, but was declared dead before admission. An autopsy will be conducted at the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune to ascertain the cause of death. 

Speaking to reporters, sub-divisional police officer Sambhaji Kadam said, “Gulumkar died while he was in police custody and hence the autopsy will be conducted at the Sassoon hospital in Pune. Also the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will investigate the reason behind his death, as is the norm for custodial deaths.

Superintendent of Police (Pune Rural) Manojkumar Lohiya immediately rushed to the spot. Tehsildar Neelprasad Chavan carried out the inquest panchnama in presence of Gulumkar’s relatives and two camerapersons. A case of accidental death has been registered regarding this at the Baramati taluka police station. 

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