A day after six college students were killed in an accident on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, the superintendent of State Highway Police has given stern instructions to his officers to ensure after every accident, a query is put up through the local police station to the doctors conducting the postmortem, asking whether the driver of the car had consumed any intoxicant.
Six college students aged between 18 and 24 were killed after the car they were traveling in turned turtle near Kamshet tunnel on the expressway at around 3 am Tuesday. The car was travelling at a high speed and the driver lost control, police said. On Tuesday, police said there were conflicting versions on whether the students had gone to Lonavla or Mumbai. On Wednesday, Kamshet police said the group had gone to Lonavla for a party.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Pune rural) Rajkumar Shinde told The Indian Express on Tuesday that a small packet of what was suspected to be marijuana was found in the car but the primary autopsy reports of all the six persons did not point to consumption of alcohol or any narcotic substance. When asked whether a specific query for checking consumption of intoxicant by the group was put to the doctors performing the autopsy in this case, Inspector I S Patil of Kamshet police station said, “Yes, the query was put up.”
Amol Tambe, Superintendent of Police with State Highway Police’s Pune division, who held a meeting of officers on Wednesday, said, “I have given instructions to all the officers to make it a point that every time an accident takes place, a specific query is put up asking whether the driver of the car, either dead or alive, had consumed any intoxicating substance like alcohol or any narcotic substance.”
An officer from Highway Police, who did not wish to be named, said, “It has been observed that in cases of deaths, these queries are not put up either because of some kind of pressure or because at times police feel such reports will hurt the families of the deceased. But we believe it is high time these things are brought out before more lives are lost.”