Mumbai: 75-year-old accused in hit-&-run seeks shelter in hospital

Mumbai: Harwinder Singh, 75, who rammed into pedestrians at Kamothe on Sunday evening, has gone and admitted himself in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a Navi Mumbai hospital and has claimed to be 'recuperating'. Police said, he will be arrested once he has been declared fit by the doctors.

According to police sources, around 7.30pm on Sunday, Singh sped his car and ran over six people, near a hotel at Sector 6 of Kamothe. The car driven by Singh, hit two motorcyles and four pedestrians at high speed.

He however managed to escape and left his car behind. Eyewitnesses immediately rushed to rescue the victims and took them to the MGM Hospital at Kamothe.

Two people, a seven-year-old boy and Vaibhav Gurav (32) died in the accident, while five others sustained injuries. Locals alerted the Kamothe police, who seized Singh's car and launched an investigation for finding him.

Police said, when they checked the CCTV camera footage of Hotel Sarovar, in the neighbourhood, Singh was seen speeding. He first hit a two wheeler, followed by a woman walking on the side of the road and several other bikers.

The injured are the minor boy's mother, Sadhana Chopade, Sifa Sarang, Aatish Patil, Prashant Mane and Sharaddha Jadhav. Two minor girls were also injured in this accident, said police.

The car registered under MH-01-BF-993, was traced to a local Kamothe resident and police rushed to arrest him. "After checking the car's number with the Regional Transport Office (RTO), the senior citizen accused was identified and further investigations revealed, he was hospitalised due to a previous ailment.

We have deployed two officers outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he has been kept under observation and will take action once he is medically fit," said Devidas Sonawane, senior inspector of Kamothe police station.

Kumar, a resident of Kamothe area, is said to be suffering from depression and has been on medication. "After the accident, Singh fled the spot and checked himself in a hospital, claiming to be unwell.

As soon as we received a tip-off we rushed to the hospital. Singh is undergoing treatment for mental illness and will be arrested after he is discharged from the hospital," said Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner of police (zone 2).

A police source said, Singh is said to be suffering from alcohol abuse. He has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for causing death due to negligence (section 304A), rash driving (section 279) and relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Police are yet to ascertain if Singh was driving the vehicle in an inebriated state. Meanwhile, police have not taken any steps to initiate a forensic analysis and the doctors did not take his blood test to assess the alcohol content at the time of this accident.

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