Ahmednagar hit-and-run: Police find killer car, but accused is still untraceable
mid-day impact >> Day after this newspaper exposes police inaction despite kin gathering evidence in the deaths of two people, cops forced to act
Following mid-day's December 29 report, the Sangamner police kicked into action and traced the vehicle that killed Sakinaka resident Meen Bahadur Singh's brother and sister-in-law Pratap and Nirmala Singh. The action came after state Director General of Police D D Padsalgikar took cognisance of mid-day's report and asked senior officers to look into the matter as a priority.
Surprisingly, the cops didn't have to look far for the car either: it was a mere two kms from their police station. On December 29, in the front-page report, 'Man probes hit-and-run that killed his brother, sis-in-law for lazy cops,' mid-day reported about Meen's quest to seek justice for his deceased family members by launching his own investigation into the December 2 hit-and-run incident because lazy cops in Sangamner weren't moving beyond the bare minimum. Meen had even identified the make of the car - a Tata Hexa - involved in the incident through a broken rear-view mirror.
The bungalow in Ghulewadi where the vehicle was found
Padsalgikar takes note
State DGP Padsalgikar took cognisance of the report and asked senior officers to look into the matter. As a result, the Tata Hexa was traced within 24 hours and oddly enough, only two kilometres from the Sangamner police station at a bungalow in the Ghulewadi area.
Speaking to mid-day, Meen said, "I'm thankful to mid-day. Because of its report, at least the vehicle has been traced with the help of the broken rear-view mirror, which has finally been seized after the report was published. As per the vehicle number, it has been registered under the name of one Abhijit Raja Bhavsar. Locals told me that he's the son of a businessman who owns a theatre in the area."
Meen Bahadur Singh
'Shielding the accused'
"Now, the vehicle, which was traced to Ghulewadi, was fully covered inside the bungalow. The family is well aware of the incident, but they did not report it to the police. However, had the police taken this seriously, the vehicle and culprit could have been traced a month ago. But they did nothing apart from providing us false assurances. I won't leave the police station unless the accused is arrested. I don't know why cops are trying to shield the accused by saying they aren't sure if he was riding the car. If he wasn't riding the car, why didn't he just come to the police station? Why is he absconding?" Meen added.
He further said, "Even now, after the vehicle was traced, I went to find out about the person with [Shiv Sena leader] Intekhab Farooqui. Locals told us they are very influential people and have a number of local businesses."
Probe into cops
Shiv Sena's Vahtuk Sena vice president Farooqui, who has been helping the family, said, "Cops were either clueless or they just didn't wanted do any investigation into the matter. I've complained to senior officials to launch a probe into the Sangamner police for delaying the investigation in such a serious case."
Senior PI of Sangamner police station Abhay Parmar confirmed to mid-day that, "The owner of the vehicle, Abhijit Bhavsar, was driving the car on the night of the incident. Currently, he is absconding and our team is trying to trace him."
Meanwhile, Meen also managed to get the cell phone number of the alleged owner Bhavsar. When mid-day called on the same number, Bhavsar said he'd call back in 10 minutes. When he didn't do so, mid-day called him again and he said, "Yes, I am Abhijit Bhavsar [but] you have some wrong information. I'm currently attending a wedding. Will speak to you later." He neither denied nor confirmed being the owner of the vehicle and disconnected the call.
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.
Kolkata hit and run case: Accused sent to police custody till 30th Jan