A 22-year-old animator succumbed to injuries she sustained in a crash with a police vehicle at Vile Parle (East) on Sunday night. Her 12-year-old brother was also grievously injured and is fighting for his life at a private hospital.
Confusion reigns over the exact sequence of events that led to the crash. While the police have registered a case against constable Jalinder Bhosle who was behind the wheel, no arrest has been made yet. Other cops claimed that circumstantial evidence as well as accounts from eyewitnesses provided no grounds for his arrest.
The incident happened at 9 pm on Sunday, when the deceased, Avani Desai and her brother Varun were returning home after dropping off some food for their grandfather. Avani was wearing a helmet, but sustained severe injuries to her head and face. She was riding a bike that her parents had gifted her just two months ago, on her 22nd birthday.
A police officer who was seated inside the car said, “We took the girl and her brother in the same police car. We rushed them to the nearby Jeevan Vikas Kendra hospital. From there we rushed them to Nanavati hospital in an ambulance.”
The police car and the scooter show signs of damage on their front and right sides. The police jeep’s bumper has also been damaged.
Avani resided with her family at Umesh Kiran building near Sanyas Ashram in Vile Parle (West). She was a student and had been working with HCL as an animator for the past year. She planned to work for her father’s architecture firm, and had thus resigned from the company. The day of her death was meant to be her last working Monday.
Avani’s inconsolable mother Vaishali said, “The constable has taken away the light of our life and the reason for which we lived.”
Bhagyashree, Avani’s colleague, said, “Avani was a very optimistic girl always had a smile on her face. We had planned a big party for her farewell. We even went shopping for the party. Her death has left us shocked and devastated.”
ACP Vasant Dhoble said, “At Shivaji Chowk, Avani’s scooter jumped over the divider and crashed into the police car of Senior Inspector Avdhoot Chavan of Kherwadi police station. However, there is uncertainty regarding the exact circumstances that led to the accident.”
Defending his constable, Dhoble added, “We will not arrest the constable until concrete evidence is found against him. Keeping in mind the details of the accident, I wouldn’t even have registered a case had it been common man. But in this incident we have registered case against Jalindar Bhosle under Section 279 for rash and negligent driving, and Section 304 A for causing death by negligence.”
Advocate Prakash Kumar said, “In such a serious case, the accused should have been arrested immediately, even if he is policeman. If the same person would have been a common man, the police would have put him behind bars immediately.”