Two schoolgirls were killed and another was injured this morning when they were hit by a speeding SUV belonging to a local Shiv Sena leader's relative in Maharashtra's Baramati, leading to a protest by residents who set the vehicle ablaze.
Three friends of the Sena leader, who were inside the car at the time of the accident, were arrested, a police officer said.
The SUV is registered in the name of a relative of Sena leader Pappu Mane, who often uses it, but was not inside the vehicle at the time of the incident that occurred on the Baramati-Morgaon road, 120km from here, a senior police official said.
Following the accident, the driver and other occupants of the SUV fled the spot, leaving behind the vehicle. A group of angry locals set it on fire and resorted to a 'rasta roko' (road block) to demand the driver's arrest, he said.
The deceased girls, identified as Samiksha Vitkar (13) and Divya Pawar (12), were on their way to school when they were knocked down by the car.
"Both the girls died on the spot while the third girl received injuries and was rushed to a hospital," the police officer said.
"According to our investigation, there were three to four people inside the car when the accident took place, but Mane was not inside the SUV. We have summoned him for questioning," he said.
The law and order situation in the area is under control, the police added.
The arrested trio are identified as Akash Jagtap, Hrishikesh Chavadhar, and Prithviraj Chavan, all residents of Baramati.
Police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.
"On Wednesday night, they had taken the car from Mane and were inside the vehicle this morning when the driver lost control while negotiating a turn and the car veered into an opposite lane, knocking down the girls," said the officer.
When asked whether the arrested trio were drunk at the time of the accident, the officer said their medical examination reports are awaited.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)