After a 72-hour search operation, the Delhi Police Crime Branch Wednesday arrested the owner of the Mercedes that rammed into a scooty, killing a 16-year-old boy in outer Delhi’s Paschim Vihar on Sunday. Police sources said that after hitting the boy, Navneet Singh, 27, the owner of the 2006-make Mercedes E class car, first headed to Rajouri Garden and parked the vehicle in an empty plot. His cousin Hashmeet Singh, who was also in the car at the time of the incident, has been apprehended as well, police said.
Following a tiff with the owner of the land, they took the car and parked it outside a friend’s house. They then took off the number plate and kept it in the boot of the car to evade arrest, police said. A case of negligent and rash driving, death due to negligence, and disappearance of evidence has been registered against the two.
Navneet, who owns a furniture shop in Rajouri Garden, hit the victim, Atul Arora, at 10.33 pm Sunday, police said. Instead of stopping to help, he kept driving, dragging the victim for the next 100 metres. Arora, a Class 12 student, was returning home after offering “seva” at a temple in Sunder Vihar. He was declared brought dead at Balaji Hospital nearby.
The police had initially denied the involvement of a Mercedes as “there was no evidence”. Witnesses who gathered a the spot after the incident, however, had collected parts of the car such as the logo and the grill, that had fallen off and indicated that the car was indeed a Mercedes. The case was then transferred to Inter-State Cell, Crime Branch and was cracked under the supervision of DCP Madhur Verma and ACP Sanjay Singh Sehrawat.
“Navneet and his cousin were on a joyride and could not see the scooty coming from the other side. They fled and were trying to dispose of the car. However, Singh made some inquiries about car insurance and it helped us locate him,” said JCP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan.
A senior police officer privy to the case said that Arora was tossed a few metres in the air before he fell on the car. “Had they stopped the car, Arora could have been saved… Even after we apprehended them, one of them said that ‘it was just an accident’. There was no remorse,” alleged the senior police officer.
During questioning, Singh and his brother told the police that they had gone to GH 12 market around 9.30 pm for dinner. After learning that there was a fire near his shop in Rajouri Garden, he rushed past the GH9 market — a claim which is yet to verified.
“He overtook a Tata 407 vehicle, opposite GH9 market. He then hit the victim,” said DCP (Crime) Madhur Verma. He added that police are not are not ruling out a case of drunken driving. Police said Navneet had informed his father about the incident.