'Teen caused Sunday's accident with new Audi'

Son of big-time realtor, he has been arrested for much lesser offence; police admit to lapses

'Teen caused Sunday's accident with new Audi'

A BBM student at Christ College has been arrested in connection with Sunday’s road accident near Mayo Hall, in which a teenager was killed, his cousin ended up with grievous head injuries, and an autorickshaw driver lost his leg.

The horrific accident, police say, was caused by Rajesh L Reddy, 19, who drove the brand new Audi Q7 at breakneck speed. The suspect and his three friends had fled the spot shortly after the accident.

Rajesh is the son of Lokesh Reddy, a realtor and Kannada film producer from Indiranagar. Reddy said that he was planning to introduce his son in his next film, ‘Lover Boy Killer’, as a villain.

The realtor and his wife Prema turned up at Ashoknagar Traffic police station, along with Rajesh and another man, on Monday. The couple claimed that the car was being driven by their driver, Srinivas, when the accident occurred, and Rajesh was not at the wheels, a police source said.

The investigators, however, refused to buy the theory and interrogated Rajesh and Srinivas. The former finally gave in and reportedly confessed that it was indeed he who drove the car. Srinivas also said that he was not at all in the car.

Police revealed that Rajesh’s three close friends — Ashok, Pruthvi and Naveen — were in the vehicle when it rammed the autorickshaw, flinging it into the air. Rajesh, however, said that no woman accompanied him. An eyewitness had told this paper on Sunday that a woman, in her 20s, was also present.

‘Case handled casually’

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security), M A Saleem, admitted that some lapses were committed shortly after the accident. He, however, said that police officers who handled the case had been reprimanded for not taking the matter seriously.

“They failed to trace the driver on Sunday itself. It was nothing but a lame excuse that the RTO was closed,” Saleem told Deccan Herald.

“The delay was unwarranted, more so after a defence lawyer came calling.”
Police have also released a 1.08-minute video of the accident, recorded by the nearby CCTV camera. The footage showed that the driver was overspeeding, probably at 150 kmph, Saleem added.

Meanwhile, the case has been transferred to Ashok Nagar (Law and Order) police station. Saleem said that the police initially wanted to book Rajesh for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the IPC, after it emerged that he was driving drunk.

A court, however, had held recently that traffic police could not book cases under Section 304. They can only invoke Section 304A (causing death due to negligence). A person convicted under Section 304 may be sentenced to life imprisonment or imprisonment up to 10 years. In contrast, 304A allows for imprisonment up to just two years.

Reddy, on his part, accused the police of acting in a “partisan” manner and attributed their “unnecessary” strict action to media trial.

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