The Delhi Police should probably change their tagline from ‘With you, for you, always’ to ‘If you want it done well, do it yourself’. A hit-and-run case involving an elderly couple in the national capital clearly shows how the police left no stone unturned in shielding the accused. However, the victims’ family took matters into their own hands and tracked down the car that mowed down the couple.
On 6 February, around 9 pm, Vimla and her husband Giriraj were killed by a speeding Renault Kwid in Paschim Vihar in Delhi. But when the victims’ family suspected that police was trying to hide the number of the car involved in the crime, they traced the car and the accused themselves in less than 48 hours.
Police had got the number of the car on the same day of the incident. But they made no effort to find it. The next day, when I went to police station to collect the post-mortem report, I saw that a number was mentioned in a page. When I asked them to provide the number of the car, the investigating officer misled me by giving me the wrong registration number.Gopal, son-in-law of the victims
The Video Clip That Helped Trace the Car
The middle-class business family ran from pillar to post to locate the car. The only clue they had about the car was that it had a temporary number plate, and that too they got from an eyewitness, Devendra Kumar, not the police. According to Kumar, he saw the driver.
I witnessed the incident. I saw that car carrying a temporary number plate, and the driver, who was a young boy. I was ready to cooperate with the police in the investigation, but till now, they have not recorded my testimony. Nor have they called me to identify the driver.Devendra Kumar, Eyewitness
The victim’s family visited several Renault showrooms looking for the temporary number plate. They went from one car dealer to another, but could not locate the car. It was only when they inquired about more witnesses at a pan shop near the crime scene that they chanced upon the number of another eyewitness, Amit. Through Amit, the family got the video of the killer car and the complete Trade Certificate (TC) registration number. With the help of the TC number, family got the address of the car owner from the RTO.
We called the owner of the car, Shakuntala Kaushik, the mother of the accused. Posing as RTO officers, we spoke to her. While talking to her, we could figure out that we were heading in the right direction.Gopal, son-in-law of the victims
Without wasting any more time, the family decided to look for the address and the car themselves. When they succeeded in locating the car, they immediately called the investigating officer to impound it and arrest the accused. But here, too, cops refused to cooperate.
When we called the investigating officer to inform him that we have located the car and that he should impound it, he answered that he was at home and would only come to the police station in the morning.Gopal, son-in-law of the victims
When the police finally went with the family to impound the car, the suspicious family decided to record their conversations. “Who was behind the wheel of the car?” the policeman can be seen asking the mother of the accused. “It was my son,” she replies.
The police, however, denies all claims made by the family, saying it was the investigating officer who traced the car. They say that he seized the car and arrested the accused, who is now out on bail.
‘Evidence Was Tampered With by the Accused’
According to the victims’ family, the police allowed the mother of the accused to remove some items from the car before it was taken into custody.
Had the police nabbed the car and the accused on the fateful night, then they would have been able to lay hands on several crucial pieces of evidence. Now it will be hard to prove whether the driver was drunk or not and who was in the driver’s seat.Gopal, son-in-law of the victims
‘Why Didn’t Police Stop the Battered Killer Car?’ Asks Victims’ Family
After hitting the couple, the accused drove the car for almost 7 kms, the distance from the spot of the incident till his residence. But no law enforcement officer tried to stop the car.
Traffic police is also accountable because the accused drove the car from the spot of the incident till his home. How is it possible that no one noticed such a battered car? The car was completely damaged and even making noise. Why did no one stop the car?Mahendra Kumar, son-in-law of the victims
The victims’ family also claimed that the police, instead of taking the elderly couple to a private hospital which was just five minutes away, took him to a government hospital, which was much further away.
My father would have probably survived had the police taken him to the nearest private hospital.Rekha, daughter of the victims
The family wants the cops involved in the investigation to be dismissed. They will now have to fight a two-front battle, one in the court, and another with the police.
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam