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Mumbai road rage: Sion man kidnapped over parking dies of assault injuries

Subramaniam Merala, who was kidnapped and beaten up by two men after he objected to their wrongly parked car, died yesterday; Merala had asked duo to park their Fortuner ahead, as it was blocking pedestrian space

A fight over parking space has ended in tragedy, with a man losing his life after being kidnapped and brutally thrashed.

mid-day’s report on March 24
mid-day’s report on March 24

This newspaper had reported how 50-year-old Subramaniam Merala, a Sion resident, had asked the driver of an SUV, Rajendra Thakur (30) to park his car ahead.

Also read: Man kidnapped, beaten up over parking spat

Thakur had gone to Sion to meet his friend, and had parked the car just off the Eastern Express Highway. Merala felt the car was blocking pedestrian space.

Subramanian Merala had several internal injuries, said Sion Hospital doctors
Subramanian Merala had
several internal injuries,
said Sion Hospital doctors

As an argument ensued over the issue, Thakur lost his cool. He and his friend forced Merala into their Toyota Fortuner, drove him around the city in it, assaulted and thrashed him during the drive, and threw him out at Kalanagar junction.

Merala got himself admitted to Bhabha Hospital with the help of bystanders; his brother shifted him to Sion Hospital, where he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

'Book him for murder'
Unit IV of the Crime Branch arrested Thakur, who works as a driver for a Navi Mumbai-based doctor, on the same day. They sent him to judicial custody two days later. He was picked up from his Vashi residence. His acomplice is still on the run.

However, Merala’s brother Venkatesh feels the accomplice was the doctor himself. He told this correspondent, “The case was filed against two individuals, but the other one is still missing. I believe he was the driver’s boss, the doctor.”

Venkatesh further added, “Cops should book the accused under Section 302 (murder), as my brother was in the ICU after the attack and died this morning.

The police say they are still searching for the second accused and cannot trace him. They should arrest him immediately.” When asked about the cause of death, Venkatesh said, “We don’t know. The doctor said they needed to send the body for further tests, which would precisely determine the exact cause of death.”

Copspeak
Police had earlier booked the accused under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 363 (kidnapping), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation). Late in the night yesterday, they added the murder section.

“We have registered a case of murder in the incident. One of the accused is still wanted and we are searching for him,” said Senior Police Inspector B Z Gavit of Sion police station. Police officials added they couldn’t proceed further until the cause of death was determined.

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