Mumbai BMW Hit-And-Run Accused Mihir Shah Sent To Police Custody For 7 Days

Mihir Shah – the main accused in the Mumbai BMW hit-and-run-case – has been sent to police custody till July 16. Shah was arrested Tuesday evening after being on the run for over 72 hours.

The son of suspended Shiv Sena leader Rajesh Shah, sources told NDTV Mihir Shah has since admitted to driving the luxury sedan when it rammed a two-wheeler in Worli at 5.30 am Sunday, killing a 45-year-old woman and injuring her husband. However, Shah, 24, denied reports he was drunk.

The police had sought “maximum possible custody” of Mihir Shah, arguing he tried to destroy evidence after the accident and evade arrest by altering his appearance; sources had earlier said Shah exchanged multiple phone calls with his father and partner after the collision to plan his escape.

READ | BMW Hit-And-Run: Accused, Father Spoke On Phone After Crash

This included taking an auto-rickshaw from the scene of the collision to his partner’s home in Goregaon, where he spent two hours, and then jumping to an apartment in Virar, from where he was arrested. The mobile phone of a friend helped the cops after Mihir Shah (and his family) switched off their phones. 

Authorities believe Mihir Shah was helped by his mother and two sisters, both of whom have also been arrested. Shah’s partner may be summoned for questioning and could also be detained.

READ | Mihir Shah Called Girlfriend 40 Times After BMW Hit-And-Run

The police told the court it needs custody of Mihir Shah to work out how he managed to evade arrest for over 72 hours and identify all those, including family members, who helped him.

Shah also needs to be questioned, the police said, about the vehicle’s ownership details.

The cops also said Shah cut his hair short and trimmed his beard.

READ | Mihir Shah Shaved, Cut Hair To Evade Arrest After BMW Crash

This, the police said, underlines the serious nature of the crime and the allegations against Mihir Shah, and insisted, “Hence an investigation is required. The number plate (of the BMW, which reportedly broke on impact and was discarded by Shah) has also not been found.”

“The accused cut his hair and beard… it was an attempt to mislead the police.”

Shah’s lawyers countered the prosecution by pointing out the cops already have substantial material, including the matching statements of the main accused and the family driver and video footage.

Rajrishi Bidawat, the driver, was in the car at the time of the collision. He had reportedly been told (by the father, Rajesh Shah) to hand control of the car to Mihir Shah 90 minutes before the crash.

After the crash the two exchanged seats and Bidawat ran over the woman’s body a second time, after which Shah and he drove to Kalanagar where they planned to abandon the vehicle.

On the question of the missing number plate, the defence said the cops had CCTV footage.

READ | CCTV Shows Sena Leader’s Son In Mercedes Before BMW Crash

“Just for cutting hair and beard… this is not grounds to send him to custody,” the defence said.

The horrific collision – which bears eerie resemblance to the Pune Porsche crash, in which a minor boy killed two people after consuming alcohol at a city bar – took place after Mihir Shah spent nearly Rs 20,000 at a bar in Mumbai’s Juhu. The Vice-Global Tapas Bar was sealed yesterday.

Sections of the bar were demolished this morning. The authorities say the bar did not have a valid permit to serve alcohol and, crucially, supplied an underage Mihir Shah with liquor.

READ | BMW Hit-And-Run: Bulldozer At Pub Where Accused Spent Hours

The woman who was killed has been identified as Kaveri Nakhwa, 45. She was travelling with her husband, Pradip, when the BMW – which Mihir Shah was allegedly driving – lost control and hit the two-wheeler.

Horrific details have emerged of the crash, including CCTV footage that indicates Ms Nakhwa was dragged for 1.5 km after the collision before the BMW was stopped.

The husband spoke to NDTV and lamented the shock death of his wife.

READ | “My Child Wants Mother…”: Husband Of Mumbai Crash Victim

“I ran behind the car for half a kilometre, but could not find the body. I was crying, screaming, but he did not stop. If he had stopped for a second, nothing would have happened,” Mr Nakhwa had said.

The Maharashtra government has offered Mr Nakhwa Rs 10 lakh as compensation.

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