Hinting at a possible goof-up by the lower rung, the Thane police have ordered an inquiry into the accidental death of Reeta Prasad who died while riding pillion on her daughter’s scooter which was navigating through a pothole-riddled road.
On July 26, Priti, who works with a multinational in Navi Mumbai, was riding home to Ambernath (East), on the outskirts of Mumbai with her mother Reeta. When the duo reached the Kalyan-Karjat Road, Priti who tried to move through a pothole-riddled road, failed to avoid one near a Punjabi dhaba. Her mother, Reeta, fell and sustained head injuries. She was rushed to a local hospital. However, Reeta succumbed to her injuries on July 31. The police have now shifted their lens on the road contractor.
At least two months later, on September 23, Priti learnt through the media that a case of negligent driving, and thereby killing her mother, was being slapped on her by the cops. Priti, who was still trying to recover from her personal loss, was “shocked” after the police recently summoned her to the police station with her documents.
“I was contacted by an officer the past Saturday. Without giving any specifics over the phone, they requested that I visit the police station with my details. I told them that I won’t be able to come that day and then there was no follow up. When the press got to know about the case registered by the police, it turned out to be my source of information. Till now, neither have I been asked to visit the police station again nor have I visited it,” said Priti.
Vasant Jadhav, deputy commissioner of Thane police (zone IV) said, “Priti is not going to be treated as an accused but as an innocent. We will also look into her request to charge the contractors, but we are still gathering information,” he said
“We still do not know the precise reason for the registration of the FIR against Priti. We have ordered an inquiry into why was the complaint registered in the first place,” added Jadhav.
Meanwhile, the police have roped in road engineers to assist them in their investigations. “The Shivaji Nagar police who are the complainants in the matter will also probe their own role. The Shivaji Nagar police had registered the case against Priti. They will probe whether the incident took place ‘due to any malicious effort by any road contractor’ and verify if all provisions were met by the road contractors on the specific stretch of the MMRDA,” he added.
Jadhav added that no arrests would be made without material evidence to prove the charges by any party.