Ahmedabad, July 20: The speeding Jaguar that ploughed into a crowd on the ISKCON bridge in Ahmedabad on Thursday killing nine people and injuring at least 13 injured was being driven by a college student.
The student has been identified as Tathya Pragnesh Patel who is the son of a wealthy builder and is in the second year of his college.
Patel was driving with his friends when he lost control of his overspeeding SUV GJ 01 WK 93, leading to the collision. He has been admitted to CIMS, a prominent hospital in Ahmedabad.
His father, Pragnesh Patel has a criminal history, including involvement in a rape case in Rajkot in 2020.
Patel resides in a lavish bungalow named ‘Hare Shanti’ situated opposite Gokul Farm House in the Gota area in Ahmedabad. Their house is located approximately 700 meters from the SG highway and eight kilometers from the accident site.
Denying any wrongdoing by his son, Pragnesh Patel said, “Tathya and his friends had left home around 11 p.m. to have coffee. The car is registered under my partner’s name and there were two female friends and two male friends accompanying Tathya in the car.
“Pan masala, drugs or liquor — my son has never done anything in his life.”
He said that he and his wife received a phone call informing them about Tathya’s involvement. He claimed to have rushed to the accident site, where people were assaulting Tathya.
Pragnesh Patel said he took his son to a private hospital and notified the Satellite police about the incident.
He also mentioned that according to Tathya’s friends, the car was not exceeding 100 km/h when it collided with the crowd.
Sources said that after the accident, Pragnesh Patel arrived at the scene and allegedly exerted influence over the police, escorting his son away during the night.
Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi has said that such intimidating behavior will not be tolerated. When questioned about allegations of him showing a gun and threatening the crowd, Pragnesh Patel denied the claims.
Criminal history of Pragnesh Patel
In relation to Pragnesh Patel’s criminal history, a complaint was filed in Ahmedabad accusing five individuals, including Pragnesh Patel alias Pragnesh Gota, of gang-raping a girl from Rajkot by promising her a job in a corporate company.
The victim was taken to Mount Abu and then Udaipur, where she was allegedly sexually assaulted after being drugged with a spiked cold drink. The accused threatened her with video recordings and viral dissemination. A case was registered at the Mahila West Police Station on November 3, 2020, and the investigation was subsequently handed over to the Crime Branch.
Pragnesh Patel had previously also been incarcerated in a land-grabbing case.