Eight days after an Audi Q7 hit an autorickshaw in Ghaziabad killing four people, it appears that the man who surrendered before a court claiming to be the driver of the killer car might have been an impostor.
Four people, including a woman techie, were killed when the Audi rammed an autorickshaw on Hindon Canal Road in Indirapuram.
An HT team has found that the tall, moustachioed man who identified himself as Ishaq Ahmad and surrendered before a court on January 31 may have been a different person than what he had claimed in his surrender application.
The role of the Indirapuram police, who forwarded a report in the case to the court without verifying Ahmad’s credentials, has come under the scanner. The families of victims have alleged conspiracy and demanded a high level inquiry in the alleged goof-up.
An HT team visited the address mentioned in the surrender application and report filed by the Indirapuram police, and found the man called Ishaq Ahmad, 32, may be different from the man who surrendered himself in court.
“I have never been the driver of any Manish Rawat and I certainly have never driven an Audi. I drive canter trucks. On the night of January 30, I had returned to my village in Bareilly after a Gujarat trip,” he said over the phone from Guwahati, where he has gone on a trucking assignment.
The man was shocked after hearing that he was the prime accused in the Ghaziabad accident. He, however, said he knew the ‘impostor’ who had surrendered before a court and submitted his driving licence (with number UP25 20110028xxxx) as identification.
“I think that man can be my previous co-tenant, who lived at the house of my landlord. Around one-and-a-half-months ago, he had sought a photocopy of my driving licence for getting a mobile SIM card. Later on, I shifted out of that house and came to stay in Labhera, Bareilly,” he said.
“I do not know how my name got mired in this. I will get to the bottom of this after returning. There are many Ishaqs in my village, but none of them have fathers who go by the name Jameel,” he added.
The man also claimed that his previous co-tenant had told him that he hailed from Mumbai and knew how to drive trucks and cars.
“I was in Ahmedabad at the time of the accident. After spending over 20 days loading goods there, I set off from there on January 27 and reached Bareilly around 2am on January 30,” he added.
Ahmad said that he had set off on another trip to Guwahati from Bareilly on the night of January 31. On the same day, somebody impersonating him had appeared before a Ghaziabad court — around 250km from Bareilly — and claimed responsibility for the Audi accident, he said.
Investigating officer Sanat Kumar Mishra denied any irresponsibility on the part of the Indirapuram police.
“The police report was forwarded on the basis of what the court sought. The individuals who submitted the surety on behalf of Ishaq Ahmad will be held responsible if the person who appeared before court and obtained bail is an impostor. We have sent a notice to Ishaq Ahmad at his address, asking him to submit his statement,” he said.
Nazakat Chaudhary, the lawyer who represented the allegedly fake Ishaq Ahmad in court, said his client was innocent.
“The individual was referred to me by a previous client. He told me his name and address, and showed me his driving licence after which we put up his surrender application,” he added.
The lawyer showed a copy of the driving licence which was handed over to him by his client. The licence number and photograph bear the credentials and photograph of the truck driver.
Police are yet to locate car owner Manish Rawat, a medical professional with Safdarjung hospital.
“It is a conspiracy to save Rawat, who we believe was driving the car,” said Narendra Singh Sengar, uncle of Vishal and Yajuvendra, two of the victims.