Mumbai BMW hit-and-run case: Police arrest accused Mihir Shah after two days

Mumbai BMW hit-and-run case: Police arrest accused Mihir Shah after two days

Mumbai Police on Tuesday arrested Mihir Shah, the main accused in the Worli hit-and-run case in Virar in Palghar district.

On July 7, Mr Shah, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, hit a two-wheeler with his luxury car, killing the passenger, Kaveri Nakhawa, and injuring her husband Pradeep Nakhawa.

Mumbai Police confirmed Mr Shah’s arrest from Virar Phata area on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway. The police took him to Worli police station where the case was registered.

Also read: ‘I want my mother back’: Mumbai hit-and-run victim’s daughter is distraught

The accused’s father, Rajesh Shah, is a Shiv Sena leader from Palghar district. Mr. Rajesh was arrested on Sunday and released on bail on Monday. Rajrishi Bidawat, the family’s driver, who was sitting next to Mr. Shah at the time of the accident, is in police custody.

Besides Mr Shah, his mother and two sisters were arrested in neighbouring Thane district, the home turf of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) leader and former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said Mr Shah’s arrest two days after the incident would weaken the drunken driving case against him.

“Mihir Shah was arrested two days later. Everyone knows that he was sitting in a bar and consuming alcohol, after which he ran over the woman with his car. Now, if he is given a blood sample for an alcohol test, the result will be negative. This would help him in court as only negligent driving will be charged,” Mr Deshmukh said.

Aaditya Thackeray, a Shiv Sena youth wing leader (UBT) and a former minister, wondered how, despite the availability of surveillance cameras and an intelligence network, the government did not arrest Mr Shah quickly. Mr Thackeray asked whether there was political pressure to delay the arrest. Lashing out at Mr Shinde, he wrote on X that the chief minister “needs to stop making a spectacle of himself” over his concerns, and that the directions given to the police are a charade to divert attention from the hit-and-run case.

Mumbai hit-and-run case: Victim’s husband, daughter distraught

In a separate development, the state excise department has shut down Vice Global Tapas Bar in Juhu and questioned the owner and staff. Mr Shah was at the bar with his friends on Saturday night and CCTV footage showed him leaving the bar. In Maharashtra, the legal drinking age is 25. Police records show that Mr Shah is 23.

On July 7, Mr Rajesh’s car hit the two-wheeler in Worli area. While Mr Nakhawa fell on the road, his wife landed on the bonnet of the car and was dragged for some distance. Mr Shah and his driver Mr Bidawat abandoned the car a few kilometres away and fled the scene.

On Sunday, the Mumbai Police had issued a lookout circular and formed six teams to track down the main accused. The police arrested Mr Shah for manslaughter not amounting to murder, rash driving, endangering the life and safety of others, disappearing evidence or giving false information and causing damage of more than ₹20,000 by mischief under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023. Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 2019, charges of overspeeding endangering lives on the road, failing to provide medical attention to the injured, failing to report the incident to the police and refusing to cooperate with the police have been booked.

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