On Tuesday, a pay-and-park employee allowed a friend to take a diamond merchant's car for a spin. Their little adventure ended bitterly when the friend mowed down a 40-year-old woman near Mani Bhavan, Grant Road. Two days later, the owner of the vehicle has offered to help the victim's family by raising funds through the Diamond Merchants'Association.
Diamond merchant Naresh Jain told HT that it was a humanitarian gesture towards the family, which would have to deal with the untimely loss.
"This incident has saddened me, and I would do whatever possible for the kin of the deceased," Jain said.
Recounting the sequence of events, Jain said he was shocked when he got a call from the DB Marg police. "The police said my car had knocked down a woman near Mani Bhavan. The confusion was sorted only after the role of the pay-and-park employee became clear," Jain said. "We hand over the car keys [to attendants] to allow them to make space for cars that are leaving. I had never heard of these parking attendants driving our cars behind our back," said Jain.
The businessman, who operates from Prasad Chambers at Opera House said he would now take all precautions to ensure there is no repeat. "We don't get parking space at Opera House, so we have to park here. Henceforth, I will never hand over my car keys to anybody. If need be, I will stop parking my car there," Jain said.
Meanwhile, Mahendra Bhoir, the pay-and park-employee who used the car to give driving lessons to his friend, has been declared absconding by the police.
On Wednesday, the police Umang Pawar who was at the wheel when the accident happened.
Sub-inspector Shashidharan of the DB Marg police said, "We have served a notice and summoned Bhoir. However, he seems to have fled. We would arrest him soon."
Ashok Surve, senior inspector with the DB Marg police station said that the police was in touch with the BMC. "During the course of the investigation, we found that the parking lot had been expanded illegally. We have informed the same to the D-Ward office of BMC and have asked them to take requisite action against the persons concerned," Surve said.