A sedan car, driven by a 31-year-old man allegedly under the influence of alcohol, rammed into the boundary wall of the Qutab Minar complex in South Delhi’s Mehrauli and burst into flames. The accident took place around 3.30 am Monday and a portion of the wall was damaged.
DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said a PCR call about a car fire was received at Mehrauli police station at 3.47 am. “Arun Chauhan (31), a resident of Mahipalpur, was driving his Hyundai Verna in a drunken state when he hit the wall near Qutub Minar,” he said.
Thakur said that Chauhan’s car caught fire and he received serious burn injuries to his legs, hands and face. He was taken to Safdarjung hospital. “A case under sections 279 (rash driving), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life) and 427 (mischief causing damage) of the IPC and section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act has been filed against Chauhan,” said Thakur.
The accused deals in sale and purchase of old cars in Dwarka. Thakur said, “When Chauhan is fit to record a statement, we will do so. A probe is on.”
Qutub Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and falls under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). “The driver of the vehicle was helped out by guards posted there,” said an ASI official.
The official claimed that the debris of the vehicle was not removed from the site till Tuesday evening: “It’s a world heritage site and this wreckage should have been removed immediately. We are yet to ascertain the cost of damage.”
The Qutub Minar sub-circle of ASI lodged a complaint with the Mehrauli SHO. The complaint said, “…instruct him to pay the penalty as equal to the cost of damages.”
The construction of the Qutub Minar was started by Qutb-ud-din Aibak (who was later crowned the Sultan of Delhi) in the 12th century, continued by his successor Iltutmish, and finally completed by the Firoz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century. At least 6,000-7,000 tourists visit it daily, although like other monuments across India, Qutub Minar is currenlty shut due to the lockdown.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines