Four employees of a restaurant were killed after a speeding Skoda car allegedly rammed the two motorcycles they were travelling on near Arjun Marg crossing on Golf Course Road early Thursday morning.Police said they arrested the errant car driver, Harsh Singh (26), a sales manager with a private firm, from the spot and alleged that he was driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
According to police, the employees were returning to their rented room in Sector 28 after completing their shift when the accident took place; the incident was caught on a nearby CCTV camera.The victims were identified as Jitender Mondal (35), head chef from Sitamarhi in Bihar; Rajnish Kumar (21), a cleaner from MP; Gopal Singh (27), a waiter from Nainital in Uttarakhand; and Govind Pratap Kurmi, a delivery boy from Damoh in Madhya Pradesh.
Investigators said the Skoda car was coming from Sikanderpur when it hit the two bikes around 12.40am on the Golf Course Road at Arjun Marg crossing, near gate number 11, a few metres from Rapid Metro station in DLF Phase 1.
A case under sections 304 ( culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code and section 185 of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act, which refers to a violation of the permitted 30mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, at the DLF Phase 1 police station on Thursday. The breach of the blood alcohol level can attract imprisonment up to six months, fine or both.
Manoj Singh, the owner of Chacha’s Takeaway in DLF Phase 1 where the four deceased were employed, said the victims had left after closing up the shop around 12.30am. “The four were travelling on two motorcycles… As soon as we came out of gate 11 of DLF Phase 1 and reached the main Golf Course Road, a speeding car rammed into the bikes, and the four were flung in the air, landing at least 30 metres away,” he said.
Police said though the Skoda car was mangled in the front, the driver was safe.
Manoj said that Kurmi died on the spot but the others were still alive. “With help of passersby, I took them to a private hospital where doctors declared them brought dead,” he said.
Naresh Kumar, station house officer of DLF Phase 1 police station, said they arrested the errant driver within minutes. “The driver, Harsh Singh, a resident of Sector 43, was returning home after a party with friends and had consumed liquor,” he said.
Police said they conducted a breath analyser test and later took him to the Sector 10 Civil hospital for a medical test.
Deputy commissioner of police (Gurugram east) Virender Vij confirmed that Harsh was in a highly inebriated condition. “He was arrested and sent to jail. Further investigation is going on,” he said.
Based on the medico-legal report (MLR), Gurugram chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Virender Yadav too confirmed the suspect had consumed liquor. “We have collected his blood sample and have sent it to Madhuban Lab for further details and content of alcohol. We submitted the medical examination report to the police on Thursday,” he said.
Jitender’s brother Birender Mandal said the former was working in Gurugram for the last 20 years. “He started his career with the same owner. He had two children and wanted them to study so that they could get a government job. He used to earn ₹28,000 per month, but took only ₹8,000 and asked the employer to keep the rest for safekeeping. We are not aware how much outstanding was there,” he said.
Kurmi’s brother Deen Dayal said the former’s wedding was fixed for May and that he was saving his salary for shopping. “He wanted to start his own business after two years and was learning all skills in the restaurant,” he said.
‘Overspeeding a problem’
Meanwhile, residents of DLF Phase 1 claim that despite repeated accidents involving fast-moving vehicles, the authorities have not taken steps to deter overspeeding.
Rama Rani Rathee, councillor of ward 34, said she wrote to the authorities several times to ensure speed monitoring on the stretch. “Police should set up barricades to control the speed or deploy teams to monitor the stretch at night as most accidents take place at night,” she said.
Police said they are regularly conducting special drives to keep overspeeding and drink driving in check.
Ravinder Tomar, deputy commissioner of police (Traffic), said they formed a joint team of traffic police, DLF Phase 1 police station and road safety cell on Thursday to investigate the reason behind the accident. “The team will be led by ACP, traffic, Sanjeev Balhara and all angles will be monitored in the case. Also, we are starting a three-day breath analyser test across Gurugram, which was stopped during the pandemic, from Friday,” he said.