The driver of Rajasthan legislator Nand Kishore Maharia allegedly told police he was coerced to say that he was behind the wheels of the politician’s BMW car when it rammed into an autorickshaw, killing three people and injuring five on Friday night.
The independent MLA’s son, 20-year-old Siddharth, was allegedly driving the BMW 520d sedan under the influence of alcohol when he lost control and ploughed through an autorickshaw and a police van near St Xavier’s School in the state capital. Four policemen were among the injured.
Siddharth, who was arrested soon after, maintained repeatedly that driver Ramesh was driving the car.
But Jaipur police said on Tuesday that Ramesh confessed during questioning he was not in Jaipur when the accident happened but MLA Maharia put pressure on him to say he was behind the wheels.
“Ramesh said he had arrived from Sikar with the MLA in the morning after the incident. We have checked call data of the mobile phone Ramesh was using and found that at the time of the accident, he was in Sikar,” said SHO Kamal Nayan, the investigating officer. Call records of Siddharth’s phone indicated he was in Jaipur, he said.
Ramesh has gone missing after telling police he wasn’t driving the car. Police had called him for more questioning, but he didn’t respond. Sources said he was untraceable.
“After the counsels of the accused gave an application to the court saying Ramesh was driving the car, we had called him for interrogation on Sunday,” said DCP (south) Manish Agarwal.
“Discrepancies emerged during interrogation and Ramesh told the investigating officer that he was in Sikar at the time of the accident. He arrived later in Jaipur with the father of the accused. After that when we called him once again, Ramesh didn’t turn up,” the officer said.
Maharia, the MLA for Fatehpur in Sikar district, refused comments on the police claim.
“The matter is in court and police are doing the investigation. It is very tragic that three people lost their lives in the accident but I wouldn’t want to comment on the matter,” he said.
Son Siddharth was taken to SMS Hospital as he complained of being unwell after the court hearing on Monday.
“A team of doctors did a series of tests and monitored his condition before concluding that he is medically fit.
Siddharth was discharged on Tuesday morning,” said Ajit Singh, additional superintendent, SMS Hospital.
The court had remanded Siddharth in three-day police custody.