Mumbai: Mechanic who ran over youth does not even have a licence

Jabir Sheikh was arrested in Dharavi for driving the car that crashed in Santacruz on Oct 19, killing a youth and critically injuring his friend

Jabir Sheikh, (19), the prime accused in a hit-and-run which claimed the life of Shoaib Solanki, and critically injured his friend, Salim Gafoor, was arrested in Dharavi yesterday.

The Scorpio that the mechanic, Jabir Sheikh (inset), is suspected to be driving, at the accident spot
The Scorpio that the mechanic, Jabir Sheikh (inset), is suspected to be driving, at the accident spot

Sheikh, a car mechanic, is suspected to have been at the wheel of the speeding white Scorpio on October 19, when it crashed into a newspaper stand on the Linking Road extension junction, where Solanki and Gafoor had been standing.

He ran away from the spot after the accident. mid-day had reported the police’s suspicion (‘Car mechanic out on joyride is prime suspect’) on October 21.

Can’t drive, no licence
“What is disturbing is the fact that Sheikh neither possesses a valid driving licence, nor can he drive. But, despite this, he managed to coax his former colleagues at Saif Auto Garage, which is minutes away from the accident spot, to hand him the keys of the white Scorpio that belonged to a businessman, Mauji Ramji Patel.

He had given it for repairs and Sheikh took it on the deadly joy ride,” said investigating officer API Anil Kadam of Santacruz police station. Kadam added that keeping in mind the serious nature of the accident, the accused, who was initially charged for causing death due to negligence, and under the Motor Vehicle Act that casts obligatory responsibility on every driver/owner of a vehicle involved in an accident to take the injured to the nearest hospital or medical practitioner, is now booked under the much harsher, Section 304 (2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

Solanki and Gafoor were childhood friends and neighbours in Sai Shraddha building, Santacruz (West). Both had cleared TYBcom from Raheja College. Solanki had even got a job in the Gulf and was all set to fly there.

Gafoor’s sister was to get married on the day the accident occurred, and it had disrupted the preparations for a while. But, the family later decided to hold a simple ceremony, as even Gafoor insisted on it, in his semi-conscious state. Gafoor is recuperating well at the ICU in Nanavati Hospital, and is expected to give his statement to the police soon.

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