Actor-filmmaker Sohail Khans driver was arrested early on Monday after a 70-year-old woman was crushed to death near Bandra Bandstand on Sunday night by the Land Cruiser he was driving. Neither the actor nor his family members were in the car registered in the name of his brother Arbaaz when the accident took place,said the police and eyewitnesses.
The victim,who was a pavement dweller,was crossing the road when the Land Cruiser driven by Dhananjay Pimple (46) allegedly hit her.
Police said the accident took place around 11 pm on Sunday near St Andrews Church in Bandra (West). Pimple was alone in the car and driving towards Salman Khans Galaxy Apartments residence in Bandstand when Chandrabala was knocked down and got crushed under the left wheel of the SUV.
Officers from Bandra police station said they received a call at 11.30 pm from an eyewitness.
Pratap Dighavkar,DCP (Zone 9),said preliminary investigations revealed that Pimple was not driving under the influence of alcohol,but a medical report on his blood and urine samples is awaited from the Bhabha Hospital in Bandra.
We have arrested Pimple on various charges,including negligent driving and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He was produced in court and was granted bail on a surety of Rs 10,000, said Dighavkar.
The police officers investigating the case said Arbaazs statement would be recorded as the Land Cruiser is registered in his name. We have called Arbaaz to the police station on Tuesday, said an officer.
It was really sad and unfortunate. I was home when it came to my knowledge. I respect the law and my driver will have to face it, Sohail said. Asked about his interviews to a few TV channels,where he said people should watch where they sleep,he said: I did not say that. What I meant was that homeless people have to live on the roads and cover themselves with plastic sheets due to rains. If any driver loses control for any reasons it can be fatal. I was genuinely concerned so we can learn from this accident and the same mistake isnt repeated.
In his statement to the police,Pimple allegedly confessed that he lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a turn near Galaxy Apartments and hit the pavement dweller. He allegedly said he was scared that local residents would beat him up and so he surrendered himself to the police.
There is a CCTV camera at the turn near Galaxy Apartments and we will examine the recordings to find out the exact sequence of events, said an officer.
However,eyewitnesses said the driver was speeding. Rakesh Shukla,who owns a shop in the vicinity,said,I was closing down for the night when I saw the car crush the woman. After the accident,we caught the driver and asked him to surrender. None of the Khan brothers came out of the house to speak to us.
Nizamuddin Chowdhary,who also is a shop owner at Hill Road in Bandra,said since the victim does not have any family,the shopkeepers of the area would claim her body for cremation.