Road rage gets out of hand as four men fatally assault 40-year-old after his tanker brushes their car; arrests made after nephew lands up at cop station with 18-second video
A screen grab of the video shot by Ram Kishore shows one of the accused hurling a stone at his tanker
- The lynchers beat the tanker driver on the road continuously for 25 minutes
- The driver shot the video on his mobile and clicked photographs of his lynchers
- Around 6 am on October 1, Kishore’s tanker brushed the group’s car by mistake near a dhaba
An 18-second video clip and a few photos, which a tanker driver shot on his mobile phone minutes before his death in a road rage incident on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway, led to the arrest of his four assailants within 12 hours of the incident getting reported with Naigaon police on October 1. A policeman privy to the details of the case said that the tanker driver was killed over minor car damage that could have been repaired for Rs 4,000.
The lynchers beat the tanker driver on the road continuously for 25 minutes between 6.11 am and 6.36 am. The driver shot the video on his mobile and clicked photographs of his lynchers and of their car when they were vandalising his tanker. The lynchers have been identified as Sebastian Valathuparambil, 53; Utsav Brijkumar Sharma, 25; Vikki Ashok Barot, 23; and Vivek Mahendra Pawar, 30.
Accused Utsav Sharma (right) and Sebastian Valathuparambil (with back to the camera) near Naigaon police station. Pics/Hanif Patel
Valathuparambil is a labour contractor, Sharma works as a branch manager at a money-lending bank, Barot is a small-time dancer in the film industry and Pawar sells Ganpati idols. The tanker driver has been identified as Ram Kishore, 40, a native of Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh. He was heading from Pune to Gujarat and the four men were travelling in their car when the incident took place.
Around 6 am on October 1, Kishore’s tanker brushed the group’s car by mistake near a dhaba in the Maljipada area on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. Right after the incident, the four men verbally abused Kishore. Then they overtook the tanker and blocked its path with their car, pulled Kishore out of the tanker and beat him all over his body, especially in the face and back, said a source.
“None of the passersby came to rescue our tanker driver,” said Dakshinamoorthy Chettiyar, the manager of the transport company Kishore worked for. A police source said, “The brutal attack began after the four accused in the car made a screeching halt right in front of the tanker, forcing Kishore to stop the vehicle.”
Ram Kishore, the tanker driver killed in the incident
“All the four men, including car owner Valathuparambil, came out of the car hurling verbal abuses. One of them climbed into the tanker where Kishore sat and pulled him down on the road. The incident took place near a dhaba in Maljipada on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway,” the police source told mid-day. “We have learnt that Kishore had been requesting his lynchers to spare him as there was a minor dent in the car and he was ready to bear the cost of repair, but they ignored his plea and continued to rain blows on his face and back,” said Chettiyar.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Vasai division, Padmaja Badhe, said, “The men had become so aggressive that they picked up a few stones lying nearby and thrashed the tanker driver with them. The stones broke Kishore’s ribs.” “The men also pounded Kishore’s head with the same stone,” a police officer said. “Later, the men also damaged the windshield and head lamps of the tanker by pelting stones,” said Chettiyar.
Senior Inspector of Naigaon police Ramesh Bhame said, “Kishore made the video and clicked photos of the accused and their car when they were attacking his tanker. With the help of the car’s registration number, we traced the owner and the back-to-back arrests were made within 12 hours.”
A screen grab of the video shot by Ram Kishore shows the assailants attacking his tanker
Driver alerted nephew
“Kishore was completely injured. He was bleeding profusely and writhing in pain when he called his nephew Suraj Kushwaha, who is also a tanker driver. Both of them were travelling together from Pune to Gujarat before Kishore got stuck in the incident on the highway. Kushwaha had continued towards Gujarat,” Chettiyar said.
“An injured Kishore sent the video and photos from his mobile phone to Kushwaha and also called him. He narrated the incident to him and asked him to return immediately to help him,” Chettiyar said. Kushwaha stopped his tanker, boarded a tempo to reach Kishore, who was 5-km-away. “Kushwaha informed me about the incident. I suggested that he rush Kishore to the hospital in an ambulance. When Kushwaha reached the spot, Kishore was in the driver seat of his tanker and was nearly unconscious,” Chettiyar said.
Ram Kishore’s tanker with the damaged windshield (right) Car in which the four assailants were travelling
Kushwaha rushed Kishore to the hospital in an ambulance but he was declared brought dead by the doctors. ACP Badhe said, “We had initially registered an FIR under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 427 (causing loss or damage) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). But after the post-mortem report came in, we learnt that Kishore’s ribs were damaged. The damaged ribs further punctured the lungs, leading to death. So we are in the process of adding Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.”
All four accused live in Nalasopara, Virar and Vasai areas of Palghar district. The police have seized Valathuparambil’s car. When arrested, the four assailants were not aware that the tanker driver they beat succumbed to the injuries.
Distance between Kishore, nephew when incident occurred