BMW hit-and-run case: Mihir Shah gets police custody, father removed from Shiv Sena post

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Mumbai, Jul 10 (PTI) A Mumbai court on Wednesday remanded Mihir Shah, the prime accused in the BMW hit-and-run case, to police custody till July 16, while the ruling Shiv Sena sacked his father Rajesh Shah as party deputy leader.

The Mumbai civic body demolished unauthorised construction and alterations at a local bar that Mihir visited.

Mihir Shah, 24, was arrested on Tuesday, two days after he allegedly rammed his BMW car into a two-wheeler, killing a woman and leaving her husband injured.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured strict action against the guilty in the BMW case and announced Rs 10 lakh aid for the victim's family.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished unauthorised work at Vice-Global Tapas Bar in Juhu suburb, pulling down 3,500 square feet of illegal construction, a civic official said.

The BMC's K-West ward office team reached the bar Wednesday morning and demolished the unauthorised construction and alterations made inside the establishment, the official said.

Around 1,500 square feet of additional space on the ground floor had been created without permission for putting an iron shed, while some area on the first floor was enclosed illegally, he said.

The state excise department had earlier sealed the bar, where Mihir Shah and his friends some time on Saturday night, hours before the accident.

The bar manager had served hard liquor to Mihir, who is yet to complete 24 years of age, violating Maharashtra's legal drinking age of 25, an excise department official earlier said.

Mihir Shah was on Wednesday produced before chief metropolitan magistrate (Sewri court) S P Bhosale, who sent him to police custody till July 16.

Mihir Shah changed his appearance by cutting his hair and shaving off the beard to evade arrest, and it was necessary to find out who helped him change his look, the prosecution told the court.

Pressing for his remand for the maximum possible period, public prosecutors Ravindra Patil and Bharti Bhosle said that he escaped from the crime scene with the help of the co-accused.

During the hearing, the police told the court it was a "cruel, heartless crime". They said the accused should be given maximum custody as they need to probe who helped him escape and also because the car's number plate is yet to be recovered.

According to the police, the victim Kaveri Nakhwa was dragged for around 1.5 km by the speeding car before Mihir pulled it over, swapped seats with his driver Rajrishi Bidawat and fled in another vehicle. The driver allegedly ran over her while reversing the BMW.

After being on the run since the accident, Mihir was arrested on Tuesday.

According to the police, Rajesh Shah actively ensured Mihir's escape after the crash.

Bidawat, who was sitting in the car and allegedly swapped the driver's seat with Mihir, is in police custody till July 11.

CM Eknath Shinde, who heads the Shiv Sena, on Wednesday sacked Rajesh Shah as the party's deputy leader.

Shah, however, continues to be a member of the Shiv Sena.

Shinde said there was no question of supporting anyone and no one would be spared.

Whoever is guilty will not be spared; strict action will be taken against them, Shinde told reporters here.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday demanded "bulldozer justice" in the BMW hit-and-run case.

He sought to know why a bulldozer is not being run on the house of Mihir Shah as a punitive action in the case.

"The regime which believes in bulldozer justice must run bulldozer on his house. I would like to see bulldozer justice coming on to Mihir Rajesh Shah's house," said Thackeray, the MLA from Worli.

"Bulldozer justice" refers to demolition of properties of individuals accused of involvement in serious crimes using the powerful motorized machines even before they are pronounced guilty by courts. Several such punitive actions against accused have been reported from BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Thackeray said the BMW hit-and-run case must be treated as murder and dealt with accordingly. PTI KK AVI PR RSY KRK NP VT VT

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