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Killers on the run

Every day, 5 people die in accidents on Delhi’s roads. And in most cases, the offenders continue to evade arrest. Vijaita Singh reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2009 01:33 IST
Vijaita Singh
Vijaita Singh
Hindustan Times

In 1978 Sharat Kumar, a resident of Greater Kailash-1, had allegedly mowed down two persons in Kalkaji. Thirty-years have passed but the police are still looking for him.

“We sent teams to his house, raided his hideouts but just couldn’t find him. It has been 30 years and we don’t even know if he is dead or alive,” said an officer about one of the oldest cases of accident still not shut in police records.

At least five persons die on Delhi roads every day and there are 1,031 motorists who once killed or injured a pedestrian, a cyclist, somebody on a two-wheeler, but were never caught. Of these, 266 were involved in fatal accidents.

These persons, some of whom were arrested but later jumped bail or were not arrested at all, have been declared proclaimed offenders by the court. Police suspect some of them may have procured driving licenses on fake documents and may have continued their killing spree like Bhagwati Prasad who was arrested last week.

Lodhi Colony police arrested 55-year-old Prasad, who started as a DTC bus driver, killed a pedestrian, jumped bail, procured another licence on fake documents and got a job as a Blueline bus driver.

In the next 11 years, he went on to kill four more people but was back behind the wheel following the same procedure.

Last year 1,989 persons were killed in road accidents across the city and 6,356 persons injured.

Senior official said in almost 40 per cent of the cases, persons involved in the accidents could not be arrested.

“A large number of accidents are hit and run cases. The accused just abandon the vehicle and flee. Those caught are charged with rash and negligent driving and in some cases culpable homicide not amounting to murder. When they get bail, they have to appear in court regularly. When they fail to do so, non-bailable warrants are issued. If they still don't turn up, we raid their homes and when nothing works, they are declared proclaimed offenders,” said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.

In Lodhi Colony area, which is prone of road accidents, there are 27 proclaimed offenders. It was here that the infamous BMW car accident took place and six persons were mowed down in 1999.

In 1998, Raghubir Singh, a driver working with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), hit a14-year-old boy in Sarojini Nagar area. Even after 19 years he has not been arrested.

First Published: Mar 16, 2009 01:32 IST