TWO school girls died and another was critically injured after they were run over by a speeding car on the Baramati Morgaon Road on Thursday morning. Police have arrested three of the five persons who were in the car, and have launched a search for the other two. All the five suspects had fled the spot after the accident. As per the information by Baramati Taluka police station, the two girls have been identified as Divya Dnyaneshwar Pawar (12) and Samiksha Manoj Vitkar (11), and the injured girl as Payal Sanjay Lashkar (11). Police said that the incident took place when the three were on their way to Someshwar School in Anjangaon village from Lashkar Vasti, where they lived.
After the accident, which took place at 7.30 am, an angry mob comprising local villagers set the vehicle on fire. They also staged a blockade on the road, and allowed traffic to ply only after senior police officers assured them that the culprits would be arrested.
Police have found some suspicious objects in the car, including a large knife and some tools needed for animal hunting, said sources.
According to the Pune Rural Police, while the vehicle was registered under the name of local Shiv Sena leader Pappu Mane’s nephew, it was regularly used by Mane. However, police have refused to divulge whether Mane himself was driving the car or travelling in it, saying that the probe was on.
The three arrested persons have been identified as Akash Jagtap, Rushikesh Chaudhar and Prithviraj Chavan, all residents of Baramati. “We have arrested the three suspects. At this point, we will not be able to reveal who among the five was driving the car, as it is an ongoing probe,” said Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Baramati, Bapu Bangar.
However, Bangar refused to say whether Mane was among the two who are yet to be arrested, or whether he was driving the car. “I am not at liberty to reveal these details at this stage,” said the police officer.
Police sources said they were taking precautions in the case because of the sensitive situation in the area.