Porsche Teen’s Blood Sample Thrown Into Dustbin, Driver Asked To Take Blame: In Pune Crash, Blatant Cover-up Bid – News18

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The accident claimed the lives of two 24-year-old IT professionals as the speeding Porsche car crashed into their motorcycle in the early hours of May 19 in Pune's Kalyani Nagar area. (Image: PTI/File)

The accident claimed the lives of two 24-year-old IT professionals as the speeding Porsche car crashed into their motorcycle in the early hours of May 19 in Pune’s Kalyani Nagar area. (Image: PTI/File)

The police have added IPC sections pertaining to forgery and evidence destruction in the case while the two doctors from the Sassoon General Hospital, allegedly involved in tampering with the evidence, have been arrested

In the latest development in Pune Porsche accident, the police have alleged that there has been a blatant attempt at a cover-up by the family of the teenager accused in the case. Police commissioner Amitesh Kumar on Monday said blood samples of the 17-year-old boy were thrown into a dustbin and replaced with another person’s samples on the directions of a doctor from the Sassoon General Hospital.

This is another in a sequence of events since the incident took place on May 19, pointing to an attempt by the family to influence the outcome of the investigation. A couple of days ago, the boy’s grandfather was arrested for allegedly putting pressure on the family driver to take the blame in the accident. Before that, two police officials were suspended on May 24 for delayed reporting of the car crash and dereliction of duty. And on the night of the incident, the presence of the local MLA at the accident site as well as the Yerawada police station has raised a number of questions.

As for now, the police have added IPC sections pertaining to forgery and evidence destruction in the case. The two doctors — Dr Ajay Taware, head of the Sassoon General Hospital’s forensic medicine department, and Dr Shrihari Halnor, the chief medical officer of the state-run hospital — have been arrested. Kumar said the father of the juvenile accused was directly in contact with Dr Taware.

Both the accused will be produced before court for police custody. The police said the hospital’s CCTV footage has been seized while a search is on for the person whose blood sample was used to replace the boy’s.

The accident claimed the lives of two 24-year-old IT professionals as the speeding car crashed into their motorcycle in the early hours of May 19 in Kalyani Nagar area. The police have claimed that the teenager was drunk at the time of the accident.

Here is a sequence of the events in the case so far:

  1. On Monday, Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar held a press conference saying the father of the accused called the doctor and offered him allurements to replace the blood samples. “…We received the forensic report yesterday and it has been revealed that the sample collected at Sassoon Hospital, which the doctor there sealed and wrote the name of the juvenile accused before sending it to the forensics, was not the sample of the juvenile accused,” he said.
  2. Kumar said the doctors who had sealed this report and sent it to forensics were detained and, during a preliminary investigation, it was found that he had taken the boy’s sample and thrown it into the dustbin and replaced it with another sample. He did this on the instructions of Dr Taware, who is the head of forensic medicine at Sassoon hospital, he said. “On 19th May, at around 11 am the blood sample taken at Sassoon Hospital was thrown in a dustbin and the blood sample of another person was taken and sent to the forensic lab… CMO Srihari Halnor replaced this blood sample. During the investigation, we found he replaced this on the instructions of the Dr Tawre,” he added.
  3. The senior police official further said that as an abundant precaution, they had taken one more sample of the juvenile for DNA testing and it was sent to another hospital. “The report of the other hospital revealed the juvenile’s blood report at the Sassoon hospital was manipulated as the DNA of (blood samples of) both the reports did not match,” he said. Both the doctors did not know that the police would take one more sample (of the accused juvenile), he said.
  4. On May 25, the police arrested the teen’s grandfather, Surendra Agarwal, claiming that both he and the teenager’s father were putting pressure on the family’s driver to take the blame for the accident by offering him money and giving threats. The grandfather was arrested for “illegal confinement” of the driver, and a court subsequently remanded him in police custody till May 28. “After the accident, the driver gave a statement at the Yerawada police station that he was at the wheel… But it was revealed that the teen was driving the car,” Kumar told the media.
  5. After the driver left the Yerawada police station, the teenager’s father, Vishal Agarwal, and his grandfather whisked him in a car to his house on the premises of their bungalow, 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,” he said, adding that the driver was offered gifts and cash for owning up to the crash, and also threatened.
  6. The Agarwal family offered to pay the driver “any amount he quoted”, the commissioner said, adding that his wife reached the place the next day and freed him. “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.
  7. 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, while he and his family will be provided police protection.
  8. Investigation so far has shown that the juvenile, while being drunk, was driving the car. While seeking custody of Surendra Agarwal in the sessions court on May 25, 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 him at police stations in Kondhwa, Bundgarden in Pune and another at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. Earlier this week, a local politician had accused Surendra of having connections with gangster Chhota Rajan.
  9. The teenager, who was initially granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board asking him to write an essay on road accidents, was sent to an observation home till June 5 following outrage over the lenient treatment and a review application by the police. His father, who was also arrested, 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.

(With PTI inputs)

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