Porsche crash accused Agarwals confined, lured and threatened driver to take ‘blame’

Pune, May 25 (IANS): In a shocking revelation, the Pune Police said on Saturday that the accused minor’s grandfather, Surendra Kumar Agarwal had confined and threatened the family’s driver, forcing him to take the blame for the Porsche car crash of May 19 which killed two techies.

Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar told media persons that the Agarwals allegedly lured the driver, Gangaram Poojari with cash to claim responsibility for the accident committed by the minor, and when he didn’t agree they threatened and confined him for two days at their home.

Kumar said that the driver -- now a prime witness in the case -- was compelled to make a statement that he was at the wheel of the luxury car at the time of the accident in a bid to save the minor boy, but he refused to oblige.

Agarwal, who was nabbed after interrogation around 3 a.m., was produced before a Pune court and remanded to police custody till Tuesday (May 28).

The Police Commissioner said that after the crash, Surendra Kumar Agarwal and his builder son Vishal Agarwal -- currently in judicial custody for 14 days -- went and picked up the driver (Pujari) who was going home.

They snatched his mobile, confined him in a room, and barred him from going out or speaking with anybody.

“The Agarwals then pressured Pujari and coached him on what statement to give to the police, tried to bribe him with cash in return for taking responsibility for the accident, and when he was not swayed, they threatened him with consequences,” said Kumar.

When Pujari did not return home the next day his anxious wife and some other relatives trooped to the Agarwal home, she screamed and shouted and rattled by the loud ruckus, he was allowed to go.

Scared and shaken by the ordeal, Pujari stayed put at home till the next day when the Pune Police summoned and recorded his statement when he spilled the beans.

Later on Friday (May 24) during the search of Agarwal’s home, the Crime Branch sleuths found Pujari’s uniform, which has been seized. The driver will be given police security as he is now catapulted as a key witness in the high-profile case, said the Police Commissioner.

During the court hearing, Vishal Agarwal had claimed that it was Pujari -- and not the minor boy -- who was at the wheel, but the driver’s statement proved damning for the minor boy.

“It was not my fault, the Agarwals tried to pressurise me. Initially, I was scared and responded in panic. I was in great mental stress and trauma as the family kept me in a room,” the shaken Pujari had told the investigators, said the Police Commissioner.

Agarwal’s son Vishal S. Agarwal was arrested and sent to police custody which ended on May 24 and he has now been remanded to two weeks judicial remand.

Agarwal’s grandson and the prime accused minor boy is under detention at a juvenile correctional home till June 5 after he rammed his speeding Porsche car into the young duo returning home on their motorcycle early that morning.

The three generations of the Agarwal family are in hot soup under various charges in the same Porsche car accident case in which the Madhya Pradesh IT engineers -- Ashwini Koshtha and her friend Aneesh Awadhiya -- were killed and snowballed into a nationwide uproar.

Meanwhile, hundreds of citizens will take part in a silent candlelight vigil near Kalyani Nagar as a homage to the two departed souls.

Late on Friday, the Pune Police suspended two policemen of the Yerawada Police Station -- PI Rahul Jagdale and API Vishwanath Todkari -- for alleged dereliction of duty and other lapses pertaining to the accident, as public anger continues to simmer.



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Title: Porsche crash accused Agarwals confined, lured and threatened driver to take ‘blame’

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