In a twist to the fatal accident allegedly involving the scion of Kolkata’s renowned Arsalan chain of restaurants, the homicide department of Kolkata Police on Wednesday said that the man driving the Jaguar that triggered the crash that night was not Arsalan Parvez, who was earlier arrested in the case, but his elder brother Raghib.
“Arsalan Parvez’s elder brother was driving the car at the time (late in the night of August 16). He has also confessed it during preliminary interrogation. He was arrested today (Wednesday afternoon) along with their maternal uncle (Mohammed Hamza),” Joint CP (Crime) Murlidhar Sharma said.
Parvez, 22, is also learnt to have confessed that he was not at the wheel that night.
Another officer with knowledge of developments said that after the accident, Raghib, 25, allegedly called his uncle, who helped him escape. “He took a flight to Dubai the same day (Sunday) when Arsalan visited the DC (South) office and was arrested.”
Raghib is said to have returned to the city late Monday night. Late Friday night, the SUV, allegedly being driven at 100-120 km per hour, rammed into a Mercedes, which then crashed into a police kiosk on a pavement near Park Street, where three Bangladeshi nationals had taken shelter from the rain. Two of them died on the spot; the third is injured. The occupants of the Mercedes — Amit Kajoria and wife Kanika — who were also injured in the accident, are still in hospital.
A senior officer said the open airbag in the Jaguar SUV after the incident led them to probe the possible involvement of a person other than Parvez.
“In 99 per cent cases, the person on whom the airbag opens receives injuries due to a thin layer of silicon (present in the airbag). We didn’t find any such marks on Arsalan Parvez. We continued to probe the car’s dashboard.”
“The police procured the car’s infotainment data and found that the person who interacted with the vehicle before the accident was Raghib,” the officer said.
Armed with a picture of Raghib, found from his social media accounts, the police scanned footage from 40-45 CCTV cameras around the accident site to trace the accused.
CCTV cameras, according to the officer, had captured a man running towards Kala Mandir, and cameras placed near Bhagirati Neotia crossing captured Raghib’s face clearly, he said. Parvez broke down after sustained interrogation and admitted that he wasn’t in the car when the accident occurred, the officer said.
The police are finding out why Arsalan didn’t reveal the truth in the beginning.
Sources said while Raghib is the prime accused, Parvez and their uncle will face action under IPC Section 201 for causing disappearance of evidence, or giving false information.
“Raghib has confessed that he was at the wheel when the accident took place, and whatever he revealed matches our findings so far,” an officer said. Sources also said CCTV footage scanned from the family’s Beck Bagan residence showed Raghib leaving the house around 11.30 pm on Friday. The cameras did not capture any movement of Parvez.
Both accused will be produced in court on Thursday.