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Pune Porsche Case: Congress Claims NCP MLA (Ajit Pawar Faction) Involved in Cover-up

Pune Porsche Case: Congress Claims NCP MLA (Ajit Pawar Faction) Involved in Cover-up

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NEW DELHI, May 28: Giving the horrific Pune Porsche crash in which an alleged drunken minor rammed his Porsche into a bike killing two techies in their 20s, the Congress has alleged that the son of an MLA was also involved in the accident and the legislator took part in the cover-up.

The allegations by Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole came in the wake of claims that doctors at the Sassoon Hospital were paid ₹ 3 lakh to replace the teenager’s blood samples so that they would not show traces of alcohol.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Patole hit out at the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction)-NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) government in the state and said there was a nexus between the police, politicians and the rich and influential people in the state. The teenager who was driving the ₹ 2.5-crore Porsche is the son of a prominent Pune realtor.

Demanding the resignation of the Shinde government, the state Congress chief said an MLA’s son was involved in the accident and the legislator was in touch with the police after the crash and also spoke to the doctors and asked them to change the blood sample.

The teenager had been out drinking with his friends in two pubs in Pune and two minors were with him when the crash occurred. Mr Patole has demanded that some details about them be revealed, even if their names cannot, so that people can know if they had any connections to politicians or other influential people.

While the Congress leader did not name the legislator, there have been reports of Sunil Tingre – the NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) MLA from Vadgaonsheri – having visited the Yerwada police station, where the teenager was taken after the accident, in the early hours of May 19.

The police have admitted to delays in taking the teenager’s blood samples and two officers of the Yerwada police station were also suspended for “not following protocol.” The case has been transferred to the Pune Police Crime Branch, but Mr Patole has demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Mr Fadnavis has said there would be a crackdown on drink driving across Maharashtra and state BJP Spokesperson Asif Bhamla asserted on Tuesday that the opposition was attacking the government only because it needed an issue to talk about.

“If the doctors have done some sort of manipulation or there has been any wrongdoing, none of them will be spared. Their licences will also be cancelled. But you can’t blame the government for their wrongdoing. The government is doing its job,” he said. “If an MLA visited the police station, how do you know there was a mala fide intention? If an MLA knows someone personally, he can go and visit them, but that does not mean he is putting pressure on the police and doctors,” Mr Bhamla added.

The accident had taken place around 2.15 am last Sunday, when the 17-year-old, who had been drinking with his friends in two pubs in Pune to celebrate his Class 12 results, knocked down the two 24-year-old IT professionals in the Kalyani Nagar area. At 17 years and 8 months old, the teenager was four months short of the legal age for driving and more than seven years shy of Maharashtra’s legal age for drinking. He has been sent to a remand home till June 5 while his father is in police custody.

Dr Ajay Tawade and Dr Srihari Harnor of Sassoon Hospital were arrested on Monday by the Pune Crime Branch for allegedly replacing the teenager’s blood samples with those of a doctor. A peon, Atul Ghatkamble, who acted as the middleman and allegedly collected the ₹ 3 lakh bribe meant for the two doctors from the realtor’s family was also arrested.

Pune Judicial Magistrate First Class A.A. Pande on Tuesday remanded in police custody the father and the grandfather of the juvenile till May 31 in a case of alleged kidnapping and wrongful confinement of the family driver who was being pressurised to take the blame of the accident. They have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 365 (kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement).

The police claim the teenager was drunk at the time of the accident. The juvenile’s father, realtor Vishal Agarwal (50), and his father Surendra Agrawal (77) had exerted pressure on the driver to take the blame for the accident by offering him money and giving him threats. Surendra Agrawal was arrested in this connection on May 25.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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