In a gruesome accident, two persons, including an elderly man, were killed and another was critically injured after they were knocked down by a speeding car allegedly driven by a 21-year-old student in a highly inebriated state in west Delhi's Janakpuri area on Monday.
The accused, Rishabh, a student of business administration in a college under a prominent government university, is the son of a businessman, a senior official said.
The incident was reported around 6.30 am when Rishabh, a resident of Janakpuri, was returning from a party at a friend's house in west Delhi's Hari Nagar area. He was driving his father's Honda City car at a speed over 100 kmph.
He allegedly hit three persons, including two who were out for morning walk, one after another in a stretch less than 1.5 km in Janakpuri, the official said.
The deceased have been identified as Kameshwar Prasad (40) and Ashwani Anand (67). The injured, Santosh (40), is not in a condition to get his statement recorded, DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar said.
Rishabh, who was intercepted by a police patrol team, was arrested immediately and slapped with charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder among others under IPC and Motor Vehicles Act, Kumar said.
According to police, Prasad, an employee at a union ministry, was the first man to be hit. He was out for morning walk. The impact of the crash threw him several metres away.
Rishabh did not stop and then he hit Santosh, who was cleaning cars in a residential area. He sped away, driving on the wrong lane, and ended up hitting 67-year-old Anand, a property dealer who was taking a stroll with another neighbour.
Anand's case was the most brutal of all. In a CCTV grab, which surfaced later in the day, Anand can be seen noticing the car and trying to escape by running towards a pavement, when he is hit by the vehicle.
A police patrolling team witnessed the commotion caused by the incident and started chasing the accused. He was intercepted once he pulled over after covering quite a distance.
Rishabh in such a state that he couldn't even manage to stand stright when he was apprehended. The car, which is registered in his father's name was also impounded by the police who found liquor bottles inside the vehicle, the official said.
He further said Rishabh's records were checked but the police have so far found no cases of traffic violation or criminal matter against him in the past three years.
Accident highlights menace of drunken driving
With this tragic accident, the menace of drunken driving in the city has again come to the fore.
"Over 2,000 persons were challaned for drunken driving in the national capital in the last 10 days and we shall continue to come down heavily on such drivers," Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sandeep Goel said.
Delhi Police have also started a programme in which minors are sensitised about drunken driving so that they become responsible drivers as adults and also encourage them to stop others in their family from indulging in such acts, he added.
According to Prince Singhal, Founder of Campaign Against Drunken Driving, over 60 per cent cases of fatal accidents reported in Delhi are cases of drunken driving.
"It is high time that drunken driving be made a non bailable in nature. The perpetrators can either be booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder or a new law, to be implemented across all states, should be designed for the issue," Singhal added.