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Drunk woman driver kills 2

Last updated: 31 January, 2010
Mumbai, Jan 30, DHNS: 9:16 IST

With alcohol level in blood 9 times over 'limit, she sped car at 150 kmph

In an act reminiscent of the 1999 Sanjeev Nanda episode in Delhi, a 27-year-old drunk woman mowed to death two persons and seriously injured four constables after the speeding Honda CRV, which she was driving at 150 kmph, smashed into a police jeep and a motorcycle here on Friday night.

Among the dead was Dinanath Shinde, a police sub-inspector and a 36-year-old motorcyclist, Afzal Kanojia. While Kanojia died on the spot, Shinde, who was attached to the traffic police, succumbed to injuries in Bombay Hospital on Saturday. Four other constables are undergoing treatment at the hospital. The condition of at least two of the injured is critical and they are under observation in the intensive care unit, the police said.

The accident occurred just before 1 am when the woman, identified as Nooriya Yusuf Haveliwala, a beautician, was driving along Marine Drive at an incredible speed. She was driving the black Honda CRV from Breach Candy to her home in Colaba, South Mumbai.

But, en route at Marine Lines she rammed the vehicle into a parked traffic police Qualis jeep, a motorcycle and a taxi. Ironically, the policemen were stationed at the spot to check drunken driving, when they were hit by the Honda CRV. Nooriya was immediately taken into custody.

Subsequent medical examination revealed that the alcohol level in her blood was 457 ml, nine times higher than the permissible limit. In other words, she had consumed three-quarters of a bottle.

Preliminary investigation also revealed that she was drinking while driving. Police are investigating whether Nooriya had consumed any drugs laced with alcohol. She was apparently returning from a party. Cans of beer and snacks were found on the back seat of her SUV, which was badly smashed.

Strong punishment

Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Himanshu Roy told a news conference that the incident was an example of how drunk driving can cost innocent lives and said a “strong message will be sent out by getting an exemplary punishment for the accused.”

Nooriya has been booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The maximum punishment for offences under this IPC provision is life imprisonment. She has also been booked for causing grievous hurt and rash and drunken driving, Roy said.

The woman, dressed in a sheer black party dress, heels and sporting a trendy haircut which she threw back with jerks of her head immediately after being arrested, was produced before a metropolitan magistrate who remanded her to police custody till February 5.

Nooriya escaped without any injuries and was escorted by policewomen to a waiting vehicle, even as she tried to cover her face with her handbag to avoid photographers.
Home Minister R R Patil and Police Commissioner D Shivanandhan visited the injured policemen at the Bombay Hospital.

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