Four restaurant workers were killed after a high-speed Skoda car allegedly rammed the two motorbikes they were traveling on near Arjun Marg’s junction on Golf Course Road early Thursday morning. Police said they arrested the driver of the wandering car, Harsh Singh (26), a private company sales manager, at the scene and alleged he was driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
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Police say employees were returning to their rented room in Sector 28 after finishing their shift when the accident happened; the incident was filmed by a nearby CCTV camera. The victims were identified as Jitender Mondal (35), chef from Sitamarhi in Bihar; Rajnish Kumar (21), an MP cleaner; Gopal Singh (27), a waiter from Nainital in Uttarakhand; and Govind Pratap Kurmi, a delivery man from Damoh in Madhya Pradesh.
Investigators said the Skoda car was coming from Sikanderpur when it hit the two bikes at around 12:40 p.m. on the golf course road at Arjun Marg junction, near gate number 11, a few meters from the station metro Rapid in phase 1 of the DLF.
A case under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempted culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code and section 185 of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act, which makes reference to a violation of the 30 mg of alcohol authorized per 100ml of blood, at the DLF Phase 1 police station on Thursday. Violating the BAC can result in up to six months in jail, a fine, or both.
Manoj Singh, the owner of Chacha’s Takeaway in DLF Phase 1 where the four who died were employed, said the victims left after closing the store around 12:30 p.m. “The four were traveling on two motorbikes… As soon as we exited DLF Phase 1 Gate 11 and reached the main golf course road, a high speed car slammed into the bikes and the four were thrown in air, landing at least 30 meters away,” he said.
Police said that although the Skoda car was mangled from the front, the driver was safe.
Manoj said Kurmi died on the spot but the others were still alive. “With the help of bystanders, I took them to a private hospital where doctors pronounced them dead,” he said.
DLF Phase 1 Police Station Officer Naresh Kumar said he arrested the wandering driver within minutes. “The driver, Harsh Singh, a resident of Sector 43, was returning home from a party with friends and had been drinking,” he said.
Police said they carried out a breath test and then took him to Sector 10 Civil Hospital for a medical test.
Deputy Police Commissioner (Gurugram East) Virender Vij confirmed that Harsh was intoxicated. “He was arrested and sent to prison. Further investigation is ongoing,” he said.
Based on the Medical-Legal Report (MLR), Gurugram Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Virender Yadav also confirmed that the suspect had consumed alcohol. “We took his blood sample and sent it to Madhuban Lab for further details and alcohol content. We submitted the medical examination report to the police on Thursday,” he said.
Jitender’s brother, Birender Mandal, said the former had worked at Gurugram for 20 years. “He started his career with the same owner. He had two children and wanted them to study so he could get a government job. He was winning ₹28,000 a month, but only took ₹8,000 and asked the employer to keep the rest safe. We don’t know how many were outstanding,” he said.
Kurmi’s brother, Deen Dayal, said the former’s wedding was set for May and he was saving his salary for shopping. “He wanted to start his own business after two years and was learning all the skills in the restaurant,” he said.
“Speeding is a problem”
Meanwhile, DLF Phase 1 residents say that despite repeated crashes involving fast-moving vehicles, authorities have failed to take action to deter speeding.
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Ward 34 councilor Rama Rani Rathee said she had written several times to authorities to provide speed monitoring on the stretch. “Police should set up barricades to control speed or deploy teams to monitor the stretch at night as most accidents happen at night,” she said.
Police said they regularly run special routes to check for speeding and drink-driving.
Ravinder Tomar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said on Thursday he formed a joint team of traffic police, the DLF Phase 1 police station and the road safety cell to investigate the reason for the accident. “The team will be led by CPA, traffic, Sanjeev Balhara and all angles will be monitored in the case. Additionally, we are starting a three-day breath analyzer test on Gurugram, which has been shut down during the pandemic, starting Friday,” he said.