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Twist in Kolkata Road Rage Case: Cops Say Elder Son of Popular Biryani Chain Owner Was Behind Wheels

Officers said Raghib, who escaped to Dubai after the incident and was forced to return, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and has prima facie confessed to his crime.

Sougata Mukhopadhyay | CNN-News18

Updated:August 22, 2019, 8:08 AM IST
Twist in Kolkata Road Rage Case: Cops Say Elder Son of Popular Biryani Chain Owner Was Behind Wheels
The mangled remains of the SUV, owned by Arsalan restaurant chain owner Akhtar Parvez, that rammed into a sedan in central Kolkata last week. (News18)

Kolkata: In a remarkable twist to the road accident in Kolkata in which two Bangladeshi nationals were and two others injured in the early hours of August 17, it has come to light that the arrested 22-year old Arsalan Parvez wasn’t behind the wheels of the luxury SUV, after all, but his elder brother Raghib Parvez.

Investigating officers of the Kolkata Police confirmed that Raghib, who had managed to escape to Dubai after the incident and was forced to return to the city upon relentless pressure, was arrested from the Beniapukur area of central Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon. He has prima facie confessed to his crime, police said. Raghib’s maternal uncle, Md Humza, was also arrested for helping the suspect hide and then assisting him to flee the country.

The saga of mistaken identity of siblings in a high-profile and fatal road accident bears uncanny resemblance to yet another shocking incident where Sambia Sohrab, son of former RJD-turned-Trinamool Congress leader Mohammad Sohrab, was found guilty of mowing down Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud, an Air Force drill instructor who was overseeing Republic Day parade rehearsals, with his Audi Q7 SUV on 13 January, 2016. Investigators of the hit-and-run case had initially held Sambia’s elder brother Ambia to be the prime suspect until evidences pointed towards his brother.

“We initially arrested Arsalan Parvez and took him into custody after producing him before the court because his family members brought him to us in response to a notice we had sent to them under Section 133 of the Motor Vehicles Act,” said Murlidhar Sharma, Joint CP (Crime), Kolkata Police.

“But we had our first doubts when the suspect’s medical records confirmed that he had no injury marks on his face or torso which should have been there as a result of the impact of the opening of the airbag. In police parlance we call it the Airbag Slap or the Silicon Bite,” Sharma added.

“Upon closer inspection of the vehicle’s control panel and its telematics data we retrieved a mobile number of the person who was behind the wheels and retrieved his profile picture from his Facebook account. We scanned the CCTV footage of his house and matched the profile picture of Raghib with the person who was seen getting into that car around 11.30pm on the fateful night. We also traced his mobile locations and scanned about 45 CCTV footages, frame by frame, and matched his profile picture with that of the grabs of the person who was seen fleeing the vehicle after that accident. We confirmed it was Raghib and not Arsalan,” Sharma said.

Police also confirmed that Raghib went into a hiding with his uncle’s assistance and then fled to Dubai, where his family has business interests, the next day even as is younger brother was pitching for him as a proxy. It was only after some serious police pressure to the family that the suspect returned to the city two days later and was arrested.

Asked why would a family push the younger son to take the blame for his brother, police said the family claims it acted on impulse in the wake of the pressure it was in. Investigators, however, say they are still digging into this to figure out if there’s more to this than what meets the eye.

“Arsalan hasn’t stopped crying for the last 28 hours ever since we broke him. He initially stuck to his family brief and tried to take the blame upon himself, but later, told us he never left his home that night. We are not absolving him of his crime to initially try and mislead investigations, though,” a senior police officer said.

In the rain-drenched intervening night of 16 and 17 August, around 1.50am, the speeding Jaguar F-Pace luxury SUV, owned by Arsalan restaurant chain owner Akhtar Parvez, rammed into a Mercedes E 220 Sedan at the intersection of Shakespeare Sarani and Loudon Street in the central business district of Kolkata.

The Mercedes was hurled into the adjacent pavement as a result of the impact and instantly killed two bystanders and Bangladeshi nationals, Kazi Mohammad Mainul Alam (36) and Farhana Islam Tania (28). City-based businessman Amit Kajaria and his wife Kanika, who were inside the Mercedes, sustained severe injuries, while another Bangladeshi national managed to escape with minor injuries. Arsalan was arrested when he surrendered before the police next morning.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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