A speeding Mercedes car allegedly being driven by a juvenile mowed down a 32-year-old man in North Delhi’s Civil Lines on Monday night.
Siddhartha Sharma was walking towards his sister’s house around 8.30pm when the car hit him. Police apprehended a youth, the son of a businessman, and are trying to ascertain if he is a minor.
The car that killed Sharma had a VIP registration number — DL 2F CM 3000. The father of the driver deals in wedding cards in Old Delhi.
The victim is the son of a retired Navy officer.
An advocate, an eyewitness, said Sharma was crossing the road. “The car hit him from behind and the occupants who appeared to be teenagers stepped out. There was a child around 8-9 years with them. I can identify the driver in a crowd,” he said.
The accused left the car behind and fled.
DCP (North) Madhur Verma said 5-6 eyewitnesses claim the car was speeding. “Eyewitnesses told us that there were around 4-5 youths in the car, who fled the spot. We have registered a case,” police said.
The driver of the businessman who earlier in day claimed to have been behind the wheels, backtracked on learning that the victim died.
Victim was to move to US soon
Sharma was a second-year student of Stratford University’s Delhi campus. He was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Information Technology. He had shifted to the city two years ago from Mumbai. He was interning in the marketing team of the university.
Sharma’s colleague Krishna Bangia said that on Monday night they left the Lajpat Nagar campus together in a cab.
“We dropped him at Civil Lines and then went ahead. He was meeting his sister and visited a Chinese stall to buy chowmein. I received a call later saying that he had been hit,” he said.
His relatives said that Sharma was to leave for New York this year.
“His phone was locked and so was his laptop. The locals checked his wallet and saw the university identity card. They called the landline number of our institute, which was answered by the security guard. The guard informed our professor who called me and we reached the spot,” said Bangia.
Eyewitnesses said Sharma was flung over 10-15 feet in the air.
A worker at the Chinese food stall, Kiran Rai, told HT that he knew Sharma. “I asked him if he wanted to eat at the shop but he wanted the food packed. Within minutes of his leaving the shop, he was hit.”
Minutes before hitting Sharma, the Mercedes car had grazed past two bikers near the Delhi Vidhan Sabha. Fortunately, they were not injured and have not filed any complaint.
Residents of Civil Lines who gathered for Sharma’s cremation said that it was a routine affair for luxury cars to speed in the area.
The locality is home to upper middle class people and is dotted by bungalows and posh apartments.
“The car must have been at least over 100 km\hr. The Delhi Police should put an end to the rich brats who use the open roads here and near the Delhi University ridge area to speed their cars,” said Ashok Shukla, a resident.