Pune Porsche Crash: Police Arrests Surendra Agarwal For Covering Up For His Teen Grandson

Pune Porsche Crash: Police Arrests Surendra Agarwal For Covering Up For His Teen Grandson

On Friday, an inspector and another official attached to the Yerwada police station were suspended for delayed reporting of the offence and dereliction of duty.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, May 26, 2024, 01:56 AM IST
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Pune Porsche Crash: Police Arrest Surendra Agarwal for Covering Up For His Teen Grandson | Sourced

The Pune police on Saturday arrested Surendra Kumar Agarwal (77),  grandfather of the 17-year-old involved in the notorious Porsche  car crash in Kalyani Nagar area on May 19. The police alleged that Surendra Agarwal and his son Vishal put tremendous pressure on their driver Gangadhar  Herikrub (44) and forced him to admit that he was at the wheel of the Porsche when the accident took place. The driver's mobile phone was taken away from him and he was confined in a room in the Agarwal household in Vadgaon Sheri.  He was threatened with dire consequences and also offered allurements to make tell the police that he was driving the sports car on the crucial night of the incident. The police said they had CCTV footage of the car which clearly showed that the minor boy was at the wheel. He was totally drunk and speeding at 200 kmph when he fatally knocked down two 24 YO techies,  Anish Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, who were returning on a motorcycle.  Both of them hailed from Madhya Pradesh. 

Surendra Agarwal, who had a criminal record as reported first by FPJ,  was arrested for `illegal confinement' of the driver, and a court subsequently remanded him in police custody till May 28. The minor's father, in judicial custody in connection with the May 19 accident, too was named in the First Information Report. Surendra Agarwal allegedly had links to the Chhota Rajan gang.

The driver told the police that after the accident he was taken to Yerawada police station by the police. While he stepped out the police station, the teenager's father, realtor Vishal Agarwal and his grandfather  Surendra Agarwal whisked him in a BMW to their bungalow in Brahma Suncity,  confiscated his phone and confined him there, the senior police official said. "He was pressured to give a statement to police as per their directions," Kumar said, adding that the driver was offered gifts and cash for owning up the crash of the Porsche driven by the teenager, and also threatened.

After two days' of confinement, Gangadhar managed to contact his wife and told her about his order.  The wife reached the bungalow and freed him and also alerted the police, Kumar added. "The driver was frightened. He was summoned and his statement was recorded on Thursday (May 23). After corroboration of facts, an offence was registered against the juvenile's father and grandfather (on the driver's complaint)," Kumar said.

Vishal Agarwal and his father were booked under Indian Penal Code sections 365 (kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement). The driver gave a statement to the police saying he was not driving the car when it knocked down two IT professionals on a motorbike in Kalyani Nagar area of the city in the early hours of May 19, the commissioner said. The driver and his family will be provided police protection, Kumar added. Investigation so far has shown that the juvenile, while being drunk, was driving the car, the commissioner had said earlier.

While seeking custody of the teenager's grandfather in the sessions court on Saturday, the prosecution said the police had recovered  DVR (digital video recorder) of CCTV footage from the house of the accused, and the probe indicated that the footage was tampered with. 

The court was also informed about past offences registered against the grandfather at police stations in Kondhwa, Bundgarden in Pune and another at Mahabaleshwar. Opposing police custody, defence lawyer Prashant Patil argued that the driver was in the car at the time of the accident, and denied the allegation that he was wrongfully confined in the house. "As there was an outcry over the incident, the driver chose to go to the servant quarters at the bungalow of the accused on his own and stayed there till next day. There is no question of the driver being  threatened," Patil claimed, adding that the accused grandfather was with the police since he landed in Pune from Delhi  on the morning of May 19.

On Friday, an inspector and another official attached to the Yerwada police station were suspended for delayed reporting of the offence and dereliction of duty. The teenager was earlier granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board which also asked him to write an essay on road accidents, but following outrage over the lenient treatment and a review application by the police, he was sent to an observation home till June 5. 

His father was booked under the Juvenile Justice Act for `exposing a child to danger' by handing over the car to him while knowing that he had no driving licence. Parents of Anish Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, the 24-year-old techies from Madhya Pradesh who were killed in the accident, have demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into  the case. Because of the shoddy handling of the investigation  on the fateful night, many have lost faith in the Pune police. There is a demand that the probe should be handed over to the state CID.

(with inputs from PTI)

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