Head constable killed after drunk driver rams police van in north campus
The errant driver, Tushar Gupta, who too was injured in the mishap, was caught from the spot, said Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (north).Updated: Aug 11, 2020 06:03 IST
A head constable was killed and another policeman injured when an allegedly drunk 19-year-old student drove his Honda City into an anti-street crimes police van, Prakhar, near Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College in Delhi University’s North Campus in the early hours of Monday, the police said.
The impact of the hit was such that the police van -- a Mahindra Scorpio -- was toppled and skid over 15 feet, leaving the head constable trapped inside.
The errant driver, Tushar Gupta, who too was injured in the mishap, was caught from the spot, said Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (north). Gupta is pursuing Bachelors in Commerce degree from a university in Singapore and was visiting his parents in Delhi’s Model Town in March when the lockdown was announced, leaving him stranded in India, the DCP said.
“He was heavily drunk, possibly way beyond the permissible limit. We are awaiting his blood sample report,” the DCP said.
The accident took place at a time when the Delhi Traffic Police has been forced to suspend prosecution of drunk driving on Delhi’s roads amid fears that using alcometers to check if a driver is drunk or not may lead to infections to the traffic personnel.
There has not been any prosecution or action against drunk drivers ever since, unless someone is involved in an accident and gets caught.
Head constable Wazir Singh, 50, and his colleague constable Amit, 40, were patrolling the streets in the Prakhar van when the accident took place around 1.30 am.
The DCP said Gupta was returning home from the house of a friend in Civil Lines where he had been drinking.
“The Prakhar van was moving very slow when a Honda City rammed it at a very high speed at the junction of the Chhatra Marg and Ring Road,” said the DCP, adding that the sedan’s front was heavily damaged while the police vehicle toppled and skidded for several feet before coming to a halt.
Constable Amit, who was behind the wheel of the van, was badly injured, but he managed to emerge from the vehicle. Head constable Singh, however, was trapped inside.
“Despite his injury, Amit joined hands with some passersby to pull out Singh from the mangled remains of the vehicle. They were then rushed to Sushruta Trauma Centre where the head constable died during treatment,” said the DCP. Amit continues to remain hospitalised, but the police said that he is likely to survive.
Singh’s son, Vinay, who is a constable with the Haryana Police, said his father had left their home in Sonepat on Sunday evening, hours before his death. “He would come home to us during the 24 hours of rest he got after 12 hours of duty on the roads. He left us on Sunday night saying he would return as soon as his duty ended,” said Vinay, one of two sons of Singh.
He said his father had joined the Delhi Police 19 years ago and was deployed with the PCR unit just two months ago after a prolonged stint in the traffic police.
“I’ll pursue the case to ensure justice for my father,” said Vinay.
Gupta, meanwhile, was saved from severe injuries because of the safety airbags, which were deployed immediately after the collision, the DCP said.
Gupta was restrained at the accident spot by the passersby and he was later booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, rash driving and causing hurt due to a negligent act, said the DCP.
When HT reached out to Gupta’s family, they refused to comment on the incident.
The traffic police, is “waiting and watching” the Covid-19 situation before resuming its action against drunk drivers, said Taj Hassan, special commissioner of police (traffic police).
“The drunk driving checking involves a one-to-one interface while using the alcometers, which makes the process unsafe for the personnel carrying out the exercise. Apart from that, they have to escort many drunk drivers to hospitals, which too is risky,” said Hassan about the reason behind the suspension of the exercise.
Last month, the traffic police also stepped out on the streets to begin issuing e-challans to other violators, but there has been no resumption in the prosecution of drunk drivers, said Hassan.
The fatal accident comes just two weeks after a traffic assistant commissioner of police, Sanket Kaushik, was fatally run over by a tempo on the service lane near Rajokri Flyover.
Till July 31 this year, 557 people have been killed in 543 fatal accidents in the national capital, data released by the traffic police on Monday showed.
In the corresponding period last year, there were 929 accidents which left 945 people dead.
In 2019, there were 1,433 fatal accidents in which 1,463 people died.
According to the data, while private car users accounted for only 13 road accident deaths, these cars were responsible for killing 83 of 265 people in whose cases the cause for the death have been ascertained.
As for drunk driving, there have been 26 accidents due to drunk driving till July end this year, as against 107 in the corresponding period last year.
Four persons were killed during the two corresponding durations.