Dhangekar and Mohol in Heated Dispute Over Pune Porsche Crash Case

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Reported by Mubarak Ansari & Tikam Shekhawat

Pune, 22nd May 2024: The tragic incident in Pune, where two IT professionals lost their lives after a Porsche car driven by a minor hit their bike in Kalyani Nagar, has ignited a political firestorm. The controversy centers on the Pune police’s decision to initially charge the minor under Section 304A, rather than Section 304, leading to accusations of legal manipulation and favoritism.

Section 304A (causing death due to negligence) is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and it is a bailable offence.

Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) is punishable with imprisonment of 10 years and it is non-bailable offence.

The teen driver was released on bail within 15 hours of the incident. (Update today his bail was cancelled and he was remanded to observation home for 14 days)

Congress MLA Ravindra Dhangekar from Kasba Peth constituency has publicly criticized the handling of the case, alleging that it is an attempt to shield the minor and those involved, including potential influence from the teen accused’s builder father Vishal Agarwal, who is the owner of Bramha Realty and Infrastructure. In response, BJP state general secretary and former mayor Murlidhar Mohol countered Dhangekar’s allegations, urging a more informed discussion on the matter.

Dhangekar, in his social media posts, directly questioned Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis, raising several points:
1. The initial FIR did not include Section 304, suggesting possible tampering by the police to downplay the severity of the crime. Dhangekar implied financial transactions might be involved.
2. Section 304 was only added after public outcry from Pune residents.
3. He questioned whether the Home Minister was aware of the changes to the FIR, or if there was a deliberate effort to protect the police and the builder.

कलम ३०४ वरून वाद पेटला: मोहोळ म्हणाले, ‘अभ्यास करून बोलत चला’ तर बिल्डरांची बाजू घ्यायला कोण कसे आले नाही अशी धंगेकरांची टीका

Dhangekar emphasized the need for transparency and accountability to protect Pune from similar future incidents, stressing that the mishandling of this case could have long-lasting repercussions for the city.

Mohol responded on Twitter, accusing Dhangekar of spreading misinformation and lacking proper understanding of the legal processes. He argued that FIRs are initially filed at the police station level and reviewed by senior officers before being submitted to the court. Mohol reiterated that Section 304 had been included from the start, citing a copy of the FIR dated May 19.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis supported Mohol’s claims, stating that Section 304 was applied in the original FIR. He criticized Dhangekar for creating unnecessary confusion and undermining the integrity of the police and judicial process.

Dhangekar shot back and highlighted the plight of the victims’ families, accusing the BJP of prioritizing the interests of the builders and police over those of Pune’s residents.