In what seemed like a rerun of the Salman Khan hit-and-run case, a poor couple who were sleeping on a pavement in Neemuch town died after being run over by a car allegedly driven by the son of a wealthy resident on Sunday night.
The victims’ three children, who were sleeping nearby, were admitted to the Neemuch district hospital with serious injuries.
The incident occurred in the Badhana police station limits, about 275 km northwest of Indore.
Police said a Wagon-R car driven by Vipul Ajmera, son of Sushil Ajmera, ran over 40-year-old Babulal Gudaliya and his wife Shantibai – killing them instantly. Their children – Pooja (10), Tufan (8) and Ranu (6) – have been hospitalised, they added.
Badhana police station in-charge SL Patidar said that Ajmera, the son of an influential food grain merchant, was in an inebriated state at the time of the incident. Interestingly, he gave eyewitnesses the same explanation that the Bollywood star did – that his driver was behind the wheel.
Though Ajmera was initially booked under Section 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life), 279 (rash driving) and 304(A) (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code, it was later changed to Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Police said he also sustained injuries while jumping off a railway overbridge in an attempt to escape from the spot. Ajmera is currently being treated at an Udaipur hospital.
Patidar said that the victims, who belonged to a nomadic community, used to survive on leftover food grain collected from markets nearby. At night, they would sleep on the footpath under the open sky.
Gudaliya's fourth son Kalu, who works at a sugarcane juice shop, was away at the time.