Cleaner zips in IFS officer's car, kills 2

A teenaged car cleaner’s joyride in a senior Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official’s car left two morning walkers dead in Hauz Khas area of south Delhi on Monday, police said.

The Maruti Swift DZire which met with an accident, is registered in the name of Isha Srivastava, a resident of Asiad Village. Her husband Kartik Pandey, an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 2004 batch, currently works as under secretary in MEA at South Block. “At around 6.30 am, the vehicle was taken out for a joyride by the cleaner of the household,” said Chhaya Sharma, DSP (South).

Manish, 19, a resident of Shahpur Jat, accompanied by three friends, was driving the car at a speed of about 100 km when the vehicle hit Sultan Singh, 46, a resident of Gautam Nagar, and Raja Ram, 53, who hails from Bangalore, Karnataka. The duo was taking an early-morning walk at August Kranti Marg. “The front part of the vehicle was badly damaged due to the impact. Manish and his friends fled, leaving the car. We received a call at 6.45 am, and rushed the victims to AIIMS’ Trauma Centre, where the doctors declared them brought dead,” another official added.

The accident took place on a day when Sultan’s 24-year-old daughter was to be engaged to get married. Her wedding was scheduled on Friday, while Raja Ram was in the national capital to attend the ceremony.

Manish was later detained on a statement by Pandey, and on interrogation, he confessed that he was driving the vehicle. “He has been arrested and a case under Sec 279 (rash driving) and 304A (causing death by negligence) have been registered at Hauz Khas police station. No action will be taken against his friends,” the official said.

Pandey told police that Manish usually takes the car’s key at around 6.30 am to clean the vehicle and returns back after an hour. On Monday, Manish took the car’s key at around 6.15 am and returned on time.

However, Kartik noticed that the car was missing when he came out of the house at around 9 am. “He immediately approached us to file a complaint, and came to know that the vehicle was involved in the accident and was found abandoned at the spot,” the official added.

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