A woman, one of the two accused of causing a fatal accident in which a youth and a child were killed, surrendered before police here on Wednesday evening.
The surrender and the immediate arrest of the woman came nearly 20 hours after the Honda Accord car she was driving mowed down Sukhwinder Singh, 21, and his cousin Harpreet Singh, who would have been five next week, after a high-speed car race. Sukhwinder and Harpreet were on a motorcycle, police said.
The car belonged to the woman’s uncle.
Police quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the woman was drunk at the time of the accident on Tuesday night. She was booked for rash and negligent driving (Section 279) and for causing death by a negligent act (Indian Penal Code Section 304-A).
The other woman in the car at the time is yet to be traced, officials said, adding that the sections imposed on the arrested woman would enable her to get bail immediately.
The woman was taken for a medical examination by police officials. However, medical experts said the delay in the arrest would undermine traces of liquor or intoxicants in her blood.
Furious relatives of the victims gathered at the Sector 3 police station, seeking harsher punishment for the accused.
“We want punishment for this girl. My son was to celebrate his fifth birthday on August 25,” said an anguished Dalbeer Singh, the father of Harpreet.
“Action will be taken against the accused as per the law. No one will be spared. I cannot confirm whether she was drunk at the time of the accident or not,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Jagbir Singh.
The accident happened in the high-security area of Chandigarh, close to the residences of the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers. The area is a high-security zone with Z-plus security category VIPs living there.
The crash was preceded by a car race between the Honda Accord and a Maruti Swift.
Though police identified the Honda Accord car bearing a VIP number (CH03-R-0018) as that of retired Lt. Col. G.S. Brar, resident of Sector 36, they were initially unable to identify and arrest the women who were driving the car as the family did not cooperate, officials said.
Lt. Col. (retired) G.S. Brar’s son, B.S. Brar, a serving lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army, had told the media on Wednesday morning that no women were driving the car at the time of the accident.
“No women were driving the car. Who is saying all this? My driver was driving the car when the accident happened. I am looking for him,” Lt. B.S. Brar claimed in the face of mounting pressure on the police to act against those who killed the motorcycle victims.
“The Honda Accord car, which was being driven by a woman, hit a bike from the rear,” said DSP Jagir Singh.
“Another woman was sitting on the front seat. The impact of the collision was so strong that the air bags of the car inflated. Both the women came out and fled in a Maruti Swift car, with which they were competing in a race,” he added.
Sukhwinder and Harpreet were residents of Kansal village near here and were coming from a government hospital after taking medicines for the former’s ailing mother. Sukhwinder was pursuing an engineering course at Kharar town, about 20 km from here, while Harpreet was studying in a school.
Eyewitness Sarabjit Singh was driving along them on a separate motorcycle. He was the only eyewitness in this case.