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Powerlifters’ death: Primary investigation indicates case of ‘drunken driving’

Aakash Srivastava | New Delhi |

In yet another case of ‘drunk and driving’ in the capital, five powerlifters, including a national level player, lost their lives while one received severe injuries after their over speeding car hit a road divider and crashed into pole in Outer Delhi Alipur area on early hours of Sunday.

Rajneesh Gupta DCP Rohini identified the deceased as Saksham Yadav, 28 a national level power lifter Tikamchand, 27 Saurabh, 18 Yogesh, 24 and Harish Roy 20 while the injured as Rohit, 23.

“The incident took place on the wee hours of Sunday near Sindhu Border when victims were heading towards Haryana’s Karnal road while celebrating Rohit’s birthday. They were returning from Panipat after attending athlete meets,” the DCP said.

“Primary investigation reveals that the car was over speeding at the time of incident and few beer bottles were recovered from their car which indicates towards them being drunk. However we are waiting for the autopsy reports of the deceased and injured to be fit for statement,” the DCP said.

The DCP added that locals informed police about the incident and on reaching all six were found heavily bleeding. “Due to massive collision the roof of the car was blown away which tells about the intensity of the collision. And also after the collision with an iron pole car rolled down before halting. As of now it is not clear who amongst six victims was driving the vehicle. All the six athletes were initially taken to Raja Harish Chandra hospital where doctors declared four brought dead while Saksham and Rohit were referred to Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh. Later, they were taken to AIIMS Trauma Center where Saksham succumbed to injuries while Rohit has been kept in Intensive Care Unit,” he said.

Requesting anonymity, a senior doctor from AIIMS treating both told The Statesman that Saksham’s condition was very critical when he was brought here in the morning around 9.30 a.m. “Both the injured had severe injuries and they lost lot of blood. But Saksham was more critical as he had suffered two cardiac arrests in Max and one here in AIIMS. At 6.38 he succumbed to the injury,” the doctor said.

Following the accident, police have registered case under section 304A (causing death by negligence) against the driver. Rajneesh Gupta told The Statesman. “Now we are waiting for Rohit to recover from his injuries and declared fit for the statement. We have also collected the CCTV footage of the area and will analyse it to know who was driving the car. Through CCTV footage we will also check if there was any foul play in the accident,” added Gupta.

He further said that prime facie it looks like all the six were drunk and due to dense fog the driver lost control over the vehicle. “Eyewitnesses told police that driver was trying to overtake the vehicle when he hit the divider and smashed the vehicle into pole after bouncing few meters away. The rooftop of the car was blown away, which tells about the excessive speed of car,” said Gupta.

Saksham Yadav bagged a gold medal while representing the country in power-lifting world championship held in Moscow in 2007. “He had also won gold in junior category in 2006. He was residing with his family members in Civil Lines DRDO office Apartment. While Tikamchand was working as a bouncer, Saurabh as helper in Gym, Yogesh as video camera contractor, while Harish Roy is a student. Rohit also works as helper in a gym,” the police said.