In a stunning u-turn, Kolkata Police on Wednesday arrested Raghib Parwez, elder brother of the original prime accused Arsalan Parwez, for allegedly being at the wheel of the Jaguar that was involved in a gruesome accident here last week that killed two Bangladeshi citizens and left three others injured.
Raghib's maternal uncle has also been arrested for helping him abscond.
In a hurriedly convened media meet, the city police claimed that 21-year-old Arsalan Parwez, scion of the family that owns the city's famous eponymous restaurant chain, wasn't driving the car, but it was his elder brother who was at the wheel at the time of the accident.
Arsalan Parwez allegedly tried to mislead the police to save his brother by claiming that he was driving.
Police recovered the event data recorder (EDR) of the Jaguar Land Rover car that was being driven at a speed between 100-120 km per hour. After thorough examination done by the Homicide Department, as well as the forensic and cyber teams, the sensational case took a sharp turn.
"After checking the control panel of the high-end vehicle, the experts found that the infotainment data revealed that a person named Raghib Parwez had interacted with the vehicle prior to the accident.
"After thorough investigation, it was confirmed that Raghib, Arsalan's elder brother, was driving the car. He has been arrested on Wednseday noon near Beniapukur," Murlidhar Sharma, joint commissioner of police (crime) told reporters.
Following several tests carried out by experts, the police deduced that the car's airbag had opened during the accident.
"If the air bag opens, the driver gets an impact on his body/face which is known as silicon bite or air bag scrap. Medical examination of Arsalan showed no such trace which prompted officers to find out if the car was being driven by someone else," he said.
Sharma revealed that Raghib fled to Dubai after the incident. After checking various CCTV footage and questioning the family members, his involvement was confirmed.
"As per preliminary investigation, he has confessed that he was driving the vehicle. Parvez's maternal uncle Mohammad Hamsa has also been arrested for helping him in absconding," Sharma said.
The luxurious Jaguar Land Rover F-Pace, moving at breakneck speed late on Friday night amidst heavy showers, rammed into a Mercedes E-220 car in the wee hours of Saturday at the Shakespeare Sarani-Loudon Street crossing in south Kolkata.
CCTV footage as well as eyewitness and police accounts suggest that the Mercedes, which took the full impact of the hit, rolled over twice and crashed against a Traffic Police kiosk.
The kiosk fell on three Bangladeshi citizens, who had taken shelter from the rain behind the structure. Two of them -- Kazi Mohammad Mainul Alam (36) and Farhana Islam Tania (28), who had come to Kolkata for medical treatment -- were crushed to death. Kazi Safi Rahmatullah, the third from the group, survived with an injury.
The Mercedes occupants -- Amit Kajaria, who was at the wheel and his wife Kanika -- were both injured, and are still in hospital. Kajaria almost had his right ear severed, and a plastic surgery has been done to relocate it. Kanika had abdominal bruises, but continues to remain traumatised.
The police had earlier booked Arsalan under Sections 279 (rash driving) and 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.A
Arsalan is the second child of his parents and studied in a reputed English medium school in the city before travelling to the UK, where he graduated in Business Administration from the University of Edinburgh.
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