Forensic team to probe Munde's death

Forensic team to probe Munde's death

With no independent eyewitness to the road accident in which Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde was killed in south Delhi on Tuesday, police are now looking into the scientific process of accident reconstruction to come to a conclusion about the causes and sequence of events.

To make the process easier, police have also sought the help of Forensic Science Laboratory at outer Delhi’s Rohini. A team of the lab visited the spot on Tuesday afternoon.

“An in-depth collision analysis will be conducted to identify the contributing factors, including the role of the drivers, vehicles, roadway and the environment,” said S B S Tyagi, Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi).

The spot has been barricaded and both the vehicles seized for further investigation.

Munde was on his way to IGI Airport when his white Maruti Suzuki SX4 was hit by a Tata Indica.

The 64-year-old was sitting on the backseat while his personal secretary Surendra Nayar was sitting beside the driver, Virendra Kumar.

Police said the accident took place at a traffic intersection of four roads. Prithviraj Road meets Safdarjung Road, while Shri Aurobindo Marg meets Tughlaq Road here.

Around 6.20 am, Munde’s car was about to cross the intersection from Prithviraj Road to enter Safdarjung Road when the Indica rammed into it on the left side — on the backseat door where Munde was sitting and scanning newspapers.

After the accident, Munde told his staff to take him to the hospital, but he was declared brought dead at the AIIMS trauma centre.

Meanwhile, the driver of the Indica Gurvinder Singh made a call to the police control room saying a ‘Maruti Suzuki SX4 car with red beacon hit his car and fled from the spot’.

Gurvinder waited for police to arrive at the spot and was later taken to Tughlak Road police station to file a complaint.

Soon, police were informed about Munde’s death.

Munde’s driver also alleged that the driver of the Indica was speeding and jumped a red traffic signal.

“Virendra claims that the Prithviraj Road traffic signal still had 26 seconds of the green light left when he had crossed it,” another police officer added.

It meant that the traffic signal of Shri Aurobindo Marg was red.

The Indica was also badly damaged on its front, while Munde’s car had minor damage on the left side.

“It was the onus of the Indica’s driver to have seen the vehicle and stopped. After ramming into the SX4, the Indica skidded for about 31 feet before it came to a screeching halt,” the officer said.

Gurvinder, who hails from Punjab’s Rupnagar district, was subsequently questioned by the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police Special Cell to rule out conspiracy behind the incident.

A case under section 279 (rash driving) and 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code has also been registered against Gurvinder over Virendra’s statement with Tughlak Road police station. Gurvinder was arrested, but later granted bail by Patiala House Court.