The Mahim police on Wednesday night arrested the 40-year-old taxi driver who hit drove into six persons after being slapped for intruding into the privacy of a pavement dweller’s family the night before. The police said that the accused, Virendra Kumar Tiwari, said that he committed the crime in a fit of rage.
According to the Mahim police, Tiwari was arrested from a room in Goregaon (East) where he was staying as a paying guest. He owns a property in Vasai and had come to the city from Uttar Pradesh 17 years ago, and has been driving taxi since.
“Tiwari has admitted to the crime saying that he was furious after the locals slapped him, and hence went back to hit them. He said he lost control of the vehicle thereafter and ran into a biker and two pedestrians,” said Dashrath Patil, senior inspector, Mahim police station.
“When locals had nabbed him at the time of the incident, he had said that he was looking for water. When we questioned him, he said that he was looking for a place to sleep. His motive behind approaching the family sleeping on the pavement is not clear,” he added.
The police said that although Tiwari has admitted to being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, they are exploring the possibility of charging him for drink driving. “To prove that he was driving drunk, a blood test was needed to have been conducted within a few hours of the incident. However, since there is no supporting evidence as he had fled, we cannot charge him for drink driving as it will not stand in the court,” said another official.
The police said that Tiwari was produced before a metropolitan court on Thursday that remanded him in police custody till October 16.
The incident occurred at around 2am on Wednesday when Tiwari reached the spot near Mahim railway station in his taxi, where a couple and their two children were sleeping inside a mosquito net on the pavement. He tried to lift the mosquito net, when the father raised an alarm, following which pavement dwellers slapped him thrice.
Tiwari fled the spot, but then took a U-turn and ran over three persons. He then hit a biker standing outside Mahim station, and then two pedestrians who were crossing the road.
Officials posted at a nakabandi a few meters away started chasing Tiwari, but he managed to flee by speeding towards Dadar.