Narrow escape for Pawar as truck rams vehicle
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Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had a narrow escape Monday morning after a dump truck jumped the divider and hit his official vehicle on the Mankhurd-Vashi bridge.
Pawar, his personal security officer and police staff were in the car. No one was injured, but the car was damaged. Police arrested the driver of the truck and are probing whether the accident was "sabotage".
Pawar was travelling to Mumbai from Pune in his usual convoy of five vehicles. The truck jumped over the divider as it swerved to avoid hitting a car.
The driver, 22-year-old Chottu Viren Kushwaha, has been charged under IPC Sections 279 (rash and negligent driving) and 427 (mischief causing damage), and under sections of the Motor Vehicles Act.
"Police have been asked to check the sabotage angle as well. No one was injured and the minister continued with his schedule," an official from Pawar's office said.
Officers from the Vashi police station said the accident took place at around 9.05 am on the Vashi side of the Mankhurd-Vashi bridge. The truck was headed to CBD Belapur from Chembur.
"Kushwaha's truck swerved to the right and jumped the divider. The front of the truck rammed into the convoy and hit the pilot car and the deputy chief minister's car," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) Purushottam Karad of Navi Mumbai Police said.
Kushwaha told the police he had braked hard to avoid hitting a car in front. "He told us that when he applied brakes, he lost control of the vehicle, and it swerved to the right and went over the divider," Karad said. He said police were investigating the possibility of foul play.
"We are investigating. Nothing has been ruled out at this stage," Karad said.
Senior Police Inspector Raosaheb Sardesai of Vashi police said Kushwaha belongs to Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, and works for a transporter in Mumbai.
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