Heads to Roll in Pune: Police Accused of Mishandling Porsche Crash Case

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Reported by Mubarak Ansari & Tikam Shekhawat

Kalyani Nagar, 23rd May 2024: The tragic Porsche accident that claimed the lives of two young IT professionals in Kalyani Nagar on May 19 has ignited national outrage and put the Pune police, those in command of Yerwada police station, under intense scrutiny.

The incident involved a minor driving the luxury car without a registration number plate. The initial FIR filed under section 304a (causing death by negligence) has raised several questions about the handling of the case (later the stringent 304 section was added).

Further complicating matters was the presence of NCP MLA Sunil Tingre at the Yerwada police station during the early morning hours following the accident. The MLA from local Vadgaonsheri constituency has taken a stand that he went after learning about a major accident in his constituency. However, he has not clarified whether he visited the hospital or met family members of the two deceased persons.

Adding to the controversy, the 17-year-old driver received what many perceive as VIP treatment while in police custody. Reports indicate that his family was allowed to bring pizza and burgers to the police station in a Mercedes. The minor was released on bail within 15 hours of the incident, under conditions that included writing a 300-word essay on road accidents and their solutions, assisting an RTO officer, studying traffic rules for 15 days, and consulting with a psychologist and psychiatrist at Sassoon Hospital, Pune.

Sources within the Pune City Police, Maharashtra Police headquarters, and the state home department expressed concerns about the case’s handling. “The perception created by the mishandling of the case resulted in people believing that cops favored the rich. In the age of social media, one cannot turn their eyes away from what is happening around, especially during the election season. Seniors have definitely sensed something suspicious, and you will see action in the coming days,” a source said.

Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar has pledged to suspend the Yerwada police station staff if found complicit in providing preferential treatment. “We are checking CCTV footage of the police station,” he informed media persons. However, no action has been taken yet.

If sources are to be believed, the repercussions may extend beyond the Yerwada police station staff to higher-ranking officials. “The staff of the police station cannot be made scapegoats. Prima facie, there is mishandling of the case and preferential treatment to the child in conflict with the law (CCL),” stated a source from the state capital.

The response from supervisory officers has also been criticized. When questioned about actions against the pubs that allegedly served liquor to the minor before the accident, one officer had told journalists dismissively, “What is a pub? I will check its definition on Google and let you know.”

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Ravindra Dhangekar alleged that money exchanged hands to weaken the case. “The investigating officers have made mistakes. The case should be now investigated by a different agency. Who mediated and distributed cash to police officers? A young man and a young woman were killed in a collision with a Porsche. Their bodies were in the mortuary while both the boy who hit them and his father went home and rested. What policy is this? This cannot happen without money. I will come to the streets and expose everyone,” he added.

The accident occurred on May 19 around 2:30 am near Landmark Garden Society on Kalyani Nagar – Airport road. The Porsche, driven by the minor, struck a bike from behind, resulting in the deaths of Ashwini Koshta (24) and Aneesh Awadhiya (24). Both victims, natives of Madhya Pradesh, had completed their graduation in Pune and worked in the IT sector.

The public’s call for justice continues to grow, and the coming days will likely see further developments in this high-profile case.