Man who ploughed through crowded street in car nabbed
Police on Thursday arrested the driver of the car which ploughed through a crowd of hundreds of people who had come out of two mosques after offering namaz on Eid in east Delhi’s Khureji Khas on Wednesday morning. His woman friend , who was allegedly in the car, has also been arrested.
Police said the 26-year-old man, Shahrukh (single name), is a resident of Jagatpuri in the same neighbourhood, and is suspected to be an auto lifter. Police said the Honda City car involved in the incident was stolen five days ago (May 30) and Shahrukh and his woman friend (her identity has not been disclosed) had spent Tuesday night in the car.
Police said Wednesday morning, when the duo woke and saw heavy police arrangements in the area, on account of Eid, he panicked and sped through the lanes in an effort to escape police. Shahrukh has been arrested for attempt to murder while the woman has been booked for aiding him in the crime, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara) Meghna Yadav said Shahrukh, who is involved in 27 criminal cases such as robbery, theft and auto lifting, was arrested from near Kashmere Gate Thursday after he had abandoned the Honda City in Anand Vihar and stolen a scooter to escape with the woman.
On Wednesday, at least six people were injured while trying to evade the car or giving it chase. The incident also prompted rumours of “terror attack” and “communal conspiracy” which were refuted by the police. The CCTV footage also showed that a four-year-old boy had a narrow escape as he was whisked away moments before the car sped by.
Meghna Yadav said different police teams gathered information about the suspect and the footage from several CCTV cameras in the entire area were checked to identify him. “The footage revealed that Shahrukh had abandoned the Honda City in Anand Vihar on Wednesday night. He was accompanied by the woman. From there, he stole a scooter and both fled on it,” the DCP said.
The DCP said many people who knew Shahrukh were called in for questioning to trace him. “Following this, a number of raids were conducted at different locations. Following technical surveillance, we found that his location on early Thursday was near Kashmere Gate. We reached there and arrested him along with the woman. The scooter he had stolen was also recovered,” the officer said.
Yadav said Shahrukh told them that he panicked when he saw the policemen and the crowd chasing him. “He said he feared that his rash driving might have hurt people and therefore did not stop the car. He told us that he kept driving all day before returning to Anand Vihar late night to abandon the car,” the DCP said.
During interrogation, Shahrukh also told police that he used to steal vehicles using a master key, the officer said. “He said he is addicted to drugs and he steals vehicle to sell them at cheap prices. He also used to steal batteries from cars,” Yaav said, adding that they have not found any prior criminal involvement of the woman who was arrested.