May 30, 2013 12:25:48 am
Who drove the car that reportedly ran over pavement dwellers was it the son of an influential businessman or his employee? Even as the police are grappling with this question while investigating the accident that killed a boy and injured four others,the family of one of the injured children may have to sell their hut in a slum to raise money for their daughters surgery.
The accident happened at the heart of the city at about 1.30 am last Thursday. A speeding Mercedes Benz car with four persons on board hit a police patrol vehicle,lost control and swerved into a bus shelter injuring people sleeping there. Two workers who were erecting a hoarding were knocked down,but escaped serious injuries. T Muniraj,13,suffered abdominal injuries,which claimed his life the next day despite undergoing a surgery. His brother T Vasu,8,sustained minor injuries,while their paternal aunts daughter K Subhas skull was fractured which required a four-hour-long surgery. Her right elbow was shattered,had four fractures on the same hand and a broken left shoulder.
The three children were sleeping with their grandmother,Chandra,on the pavement outside Government Hospital for Women and Children,Egmore. Chandra,who sells cheap cloths and towels,said the children were visiting her as it is summer vacation.
The public gathered soon after the accident and nabbed two persons while the other two escaped. Eyewitnesses and police sources said the occupants of the car were drunk. Though a straightforward case of negligent driving under the influence of alcohol,the complexity of the case changed after the details of the occupants emerged.
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The car is owned by MP Purushothaman,chairman of Empee Group. His daughter Nisha is married to Union minister Vayalar Ravis son,Ravi Krishna. At the time of the accident,his son Shaji Purushothaman was in the car along with an employee,R M Kumar,and two others.
The police initially charged Kumar for the accident and arrested him. But thanks to the efforts by activists and media,questions were raised about the FIR. Allegations flew thick and fast that it was Shaji who was at the wheel at the time of the accident,and the police were conspiring with the family to save him by naming Kumar. Police Commissioner S George then suspended Traffic Inspector Ravi Chandran for not including Shajis name in the FIR. Shaji went absconding and the police formed four teams to look for him.
Shaji and Purushothaman have moved the High Court with an anticipatory bail plea. Kumar too has filed a bail plea,claiming that he has been falsely implicated in the case. A human rights organisation has impleaded itself on behalf of the victims. The case has been posted to Thursday.
No police official is willing to comment on the case.
Meanwhile,Subhas family shifted her to a private hospital where doctors said she would require a surgery for her right elbow. The surgery would cost over Rs two lakh for which her father I Kumar,an auto driver,is trying to sell their hut. S Venkat,a relative,alleged that no one from the government have approached them even after Muniraj died the day after the accident.
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