20-yr-old mows down homeless woman in Delhi; eyewitnesses say victim dragged for 300 metres before car stopped

New Delhi: A 50-year-old homeless woman was mowed down by a speeding SUV allegedly being driven by a young woman on the wrong side of the road in the posh Connaught Place area of Lutyens' Delhi, police said on Tuesday night.

The homeless woman was dragged for nearly 300 metres by the vehicle — a Jeep Compass — on Sunday night on Shaheed Singh Marg, they said.

The accused was identified as Shreya Aggarwal (20), a resident of Bareilly. She was accompanied by her two friends — Baby Rani and Megha — at the time of the accident, police said.

 20-yr-old mows down homeless woman in Delhi; eyewitnesses say victim dragged for 300 metres before car stopped

Representational image. AP

Aggarwal is pursuing a fashion designing course at an institute in Mumbai, they said. She had taken a turn on the wrong side of the road and was stopped by policemen at a picket, where she was arrested, a police officer said. She was released later on bail, the official said.

Police said Aggarwal had panicked after hitting the homeless woman and attempted to escape from the crime scene. The victim was stuck on the left rear wheel of the vehicle, the official said.

Police said Aggarwal had come to meet her friends in Delhi and had a flight to catch the same night from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport for Mumbai. The homeless woman was later identified as Phoolwati. She was rushed to the hospital where she was declared brought dead by doctors, police said.

An eye-witness said she was in trauma after the accident. "The woman was badly injured and stuck on the left side of the car. We were all screaming and running behind the car but the driver did not stop and kept on accelerating the vehicle," the witness said. Another eye-witness said the vehicle dragged the woman for 300 metres.

"It was a horrific sight. Police had to forcefully stop the vehicle by putting barricades. People had to overturn the car to pull the woman out. It was a [horrible] sight," the other eyewitness said.

The victim's husband, Sushil, died of tuberculosis two years ago and she is survived by three children - Shankar, Geeta and Ritu.

"She was the only bread-earner of her family. Her 19-year-old son Shanker is unemployed. She used to work in Shiv Mandir in Connaught Place as a cleaner and also worked as a rag picker," said Kiran, an inmate of the shelter home near Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, where the victim lived with her son.

Phoolwati's elder daughter, Geeta, is a widow while her 20-year-old daughter Ritu is pursuing fashion designing from an institute in Naraina.

"Ritu has never lived with her family. She spent her childhood at Salaam Baalak Trust and is currently pursuing a course in fashion designing at an institute in Naraina. The education is being funded by the trust," said Santosh Kumar Gupta, a coordinator at the trust.

Shanker has studied up to Class 8 and is currently preparing for Class 10 board exams.

The victim had been living with her son in a shelter home run by 'Humana People to People India' near Bangla Sahib Gurudwara for close to eight years now.

A case has been registered against Aggarwal and further investigation was underway, police said.

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 07:28:24 IST