Panic drive: Woman hits 7 vehicles, injures 6 people

PUNE: Gripped by panic after hitting a pedestrian, a 22-year-old female architecture student stepped on the gas of her Mercedes car on the Salunke Vihar road on Tuesday evening, hitting four motorcycles, a rickshaw, a car and a PMPML bus, and leaving five more people injured. The woman, Aditi Jagtap, daughter of noted cardiologist Ranjeet Jagtap, was arrested under sections 279 (reckless driving) and 338 (causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code and 119 and 177 (failing to stop after accident) of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Aditi, a third year student of interior designing at Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture, was going from her residence at Padma Vilas Enclave in Wanowrie to her friend’s house for Ganapati pooja when she hit the woman pedestrian, Pallika Das (28), near ABC Farms. Das suffered a fracture on her left hand.

Prasad Hasabnis, senior police inspector at the Kondhwa police station, said that after hitting Das, Aditi panicked and sped off. She first dashed against the Ford Ikon of lawyer Azharuddin Shaikh, causing extensive damage to the side of the car and the windscreen.

“When Shaikh raised an alarm, people started chasing Aditi’s car,” Hasabnis said. “Aditi sped towards Fakhri Hills at the end of Salunke Vihar road where a police sub-inspector and three policemen signalled her to stop. However, she increased speed and turned towards Lullanagar on the wrong side of the road, where she dashed six more vehicles.”

The last vehicle that Aditi hit was the PMPML bus, following which she tried to reverse the car. However, she was prevented from doing so by a huge mob which had by now surrounded the car. “The irate mob pelted stones at her car. However, the police reached there, got her out of the car and took her to the police station,” Hasabnis said.

The mob caused a traffic jam on the busy road and the police had to intervene to bring the situation under control. The left side of the Mercedes, the windscreen and the glass of the rear window were damaged in the stone-pelting.

Hasabnis said three of the injured, including Das, were taken to a private hospital while the others suffered minor injuries. A woman and her one-year-old daughter, who were travelling in the rickshaw, were among those who received minor injuries.

One of the injured, Mahendra Kudale, a resident of Kondhwa, filed a complaint against Aditi. Aditi was sent to the Sassoon general hospital for a medical check-up around 10.20 pm.

When contacted, Aditi’s father, Ranjeet, claimed that his daughter stopped the car after brushing against Das. “However, when she saw the crowd gathering and hitting on the car’s windowpanes, she panicked and tried to get away from the spot. This fear of the mob led her to speed, during which she lost control over the car and hit other vehicles. It all happened due to fear of the mob,” he said.

An eyewitness, Jamil Khan, who was standing at Fakhri Hills, said the situation was quite tense when Aditi tried to reverse after hitting the bus. “Fortunately, the police arrived in time and took her away,” he said – Timesofindia