Pune Porsche crash: MLA’s late-night visit, delay in alcohol test raise questions

English | 23 May, 2024 | 10:15 AM
સાંજ સમાચાર

An MLA who landed up at the police station past 3 am, a blood alcohol test conducted more than eight hours later, and allegations of leniency by the Juvenile Justice Board — as the death of two youths in the Pune Porsche accident draws national attention, questions are emerging on whether there were attempts to shield the accused.

Aneesh Awadhiya and Ashwani Koshta, engineers working in Pune’s Kalyani Nagar area, were killed after a speeding Porsche allegedly being driven by a 17-year-old knocked down their motorcycle around 2.30 am on Sunday. The accused’s father is a prominent realtor in Pune.

Less than an hour after the incident, local MLA Sunil Tingre received a call from the teen’s father, and arrived at the police station where he had been taken. Tingre insisted this was not to pressure the police.

“You can check my call records… I have not made any call to a police officer or politician to make the case weak against the accused. My political opponents are trying to spread canards to defame me,” he told The Indian Express.

Tingre said that on Sunday, his personal assistant and he received a call from the teen’s father at 3.20 am. “He told me his son was involved in an accident and a crowd was beating him up… I rushed to the spot, but the boy had already been taken to Yerawada police station. I went there, but the inspector was not present. He came after more than an hour. There was a lot of crowd present outside,” he said.

Tingre said the inspector told him the boy was involved in an accident that claimed two lives. “After he told me the severity of the case, I told him to act as per the law. When I came out, I met his father and told him about the accident. The boy’s father also learnt about the deaths after reaching the police station. I left around 6 am,” he said.

He also denied allegations that he offered pizza and water to the boy: “I did not meet the boy nor did I have a word with him… How can I offer him pizza?”

Tingre said that after leaving the police station, he called the teen’s father and also met police officials in the evening to get an update about the case. “By that time, the case had already been decided. Where is the question of my influencing the case?… If I had any such intention, I could have protected him and not allowed his name to come out,” he said.

The Pune police meanwhile faced criticism that they had deliberately failed to file a watertight case, which helped the accused walk out on bail on conditions like having to do social work for 15 days and write an essay.

While the accident took place around 2.30 am and the teen was caught by the crowd immediately, the police conducted the blood sample test at 11 am — more than eight hours later.

The police chief also said that immediately after the accident, Section 304(A) (causing death by negligence) of the IPC was filed against the accused. “Later, after gathering full information about the severity of the accident, we upgraded the FIR and filed a complaint under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). And the same was mentioned in the remand application moved before the JJB on Sunday,” he said.

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