February 7, 2017 5:10:31 am
Ten days after his Audi Q7 hit an autorickshaw and killed four people, Safdarjung Hospital neurosurgeon Manish Rawat, who had so far been untraceable, reached Indirapuram police station late Sunday night to record his statement. Rawat told police he was in the car at the time of the accident, but was not driving. He claimed his driver is on the run, and added that he had fled the accident spot as he was “scared for his life”. “Rawat maintained he was not driving. We had issued notices to both him and the driver, Ishaq Ahmad. The driver has not appeared before police till now,” Deepak Kumar, SSP, Ghaziabad, said. According to Rawat, on the night of January 27, he left Safdarjung Hospital and was being driven to his in-laws’ flat in Indirapuram. “It was a single road and vehicles were trying to overtake each other. Suddenly, an auto tried to overtake us and there was a collision. I couldn’t see much. I was saved by the air bag but suffered a neck injury.
When I looked towards my driver’s side, he was gone. The door was open, he had fled. People had started collecting. I ran because I feared for my life. I thought they might think I was driving. Since people had gathered, I thought they would be able to help those injured. Despite being a doctor, I couldn’t have helped them at that time,” Rawat told The Indian Express.
He said he took a lift from someone in a car till Shopprix Mall, Vaishali. “I took an auto from there to my in-laws’ home. Later, I went to my official residence in Lodhi Colony but Ishaq was not there. I have been looking for him since then. I don’t know where he is hiding,” Rawat said.
Stating that he came to know police were looking for him “through media reports”, Rawat said he received the notice on January 30. “My phone was damaged. Ishaq must have found out about the notice, too, because he moved a surrender application in court on January 30. I didn’t come out and speak to the media because I was traumatised… I came to know through media reports that police were looking for me and I went to record my statement. I didn’t have the courage to come out until now,” he said.
With a controversy surrounding the identity of the man who surrendered at the CJM court last week, claiming to be Ahmad, Rawat said he has known him for over a year. “He had told me his name was Ishaq Ahmad and also showed me his licence. There was no cause to suspect him at the time. The name and photo matched. He used to drive my car when I was in Bareilly. I moved to Delhi six months ago and he got in touch with me 15-20 days before the incident. He did not have a permanent residence in Delhi and often used to stay at my official residence.”
Hospital gets in touch with Centre
Stating that Dr Rawat is yet to “officially communicate” his absence from work since January 28, Dr A K Rai, medical superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital, said, “We have reported to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that it has come to our notice, from media reports, about the doctor being named in the incident. It is for the ministry to take appropriate action.”
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