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A probe into the death of 22-year-old Archana Pandya, killed in a hit-and-run on the Western Express Highway in May last year, hit a dead end after the police could find no CCTV footage to help them nab the driver.
A day after a network of nearly 5,000 cameras became operational in the city, the Vanrai police believe that Pandya’s case could have been solved had there been better CCTV network in the area at the time of the incident.
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“There was one CCTV camera at a local mall, but the quality was too poor for us to try and trace the vehicle. We have not been able to catch the accused since then. CCTV surveillance would have helped us crack this case,” said investigating officer Arvind Chowgule of the Vanrai police.
While trying to catch an auto-rickshaw home, Pandya, a techie working with Tata Consultancy Services, was hit by a vehicle less than 150 metres away from the Vanrai police station. She reportedly lay there for about 20 minutes before being ferried to a nearby hospital, where she was declared dead.
Apart from the the mall’s CCTV camera, there was another installed along the Aarey Bridge. Both cameras were put up to combat the growing incidents of chain-snatching in the area.
Probe revealed that nearly 200 vehicles had passed the spot while Pandya was lying on the road, but the police was unable to trace the vehicle thathit her. Three investigating teams were formed, but none yielded results.
“Pandya’s family even alleged that the rickshaw drivers did not ply her to the hospital in time. However, there was no evidence to book them,” said a senior police officer who was a part of the probe.
A month after the incident in June 2015, the police were forced to filed an ‘A summary’ case report in the Borivli court, submitting that the crime against an unidentified person for culpable homicide remains undetected and that no arrests have been made. “We will probe the case again when we find evidence,” Chowgule added.