He showed no remorse | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:53 AM, October 16, 2015

He showed no remorse

Says a cop about the underage driver's reaction after Gulshan crash

Even after injuring four people by hitting two rickshaws with an SUV, all that the underage driver apparently cared about was “the stuff” he had kept in the vehicle.

“He showed no sign of remorse or concern for the victims of his reckless driving, three of whom were still lying on the ground,” said a police constable, who witnessed the incident in the capital's Gulshan area on October 12.

“I told the boy to help the victims but he didn't pay any heed to my request. Instead, he repeatedly told me to help him get his stuff in the vehicle.

“I thought he had left his laptop or valuables in the SUV [sport utility vehicle]. After a police team arrived at the scene, I learnt that there were bottles of alcohol inside the vehicle,” said the policeman, who was near the Dutch Club gate at the time of the incident.

Immediately after the crash, the policeman grabbed the teenage driver, Fareez Rahman, by the arm, and took him in front of the club, fearing the boy might come under attack from locals.

Giving an account of what had happened on that day, he said two vehicles -- the SUV driven by Fareez and a car -- were racing with each other on the road, parts of which became waterlogged after heavy rain.

“The SUV rammed two rickshaws after crossing the club gate while the other car sped away,” he said.

The statement of another witness, street vendor Shanta Begum, corroborates his account of the crash that left wounded two rickshaw-pullers, a passenger and a pedestrian.

Talking to The Daily Star on Tuesday, a police officer, who visited the scene after the accident, said 16-year-old Fareez, nephew of a former Awami League lawmaker, didn't have a driving licence and he had been drinking before the crash.

One of Fareez's friends told this newspaper that Fareez has a habit of driving vehicles recklessly after taking alcohol.

Another friend of Fareez said the boy, while driving the SUV, was filming himself on his phone and sending selfies to his friends through photo-messaging app Snapchat.

The friend, who wished anonymity, also provided The Daily Star with what he claims are copies of some of the photos. The authenticity of the photos could not be verified.

Even four days into the incident, police have not taken any legal action against Fareez.

On Wednesday, Officer-in-Charge of Gulshan Police Station Sirajul Islam claimed they didn't find any trace of alcohol inside the SUV.

Sirajul said police could not take any step against the underage driver, as the victims or their families did not file any complaint.

He claimed the victims had informed the police in writing that they would not bring charges against the boy.

However, Shapla Begum, wife of Rafiqul Islam, one of the injured, had earlier told this newspaper that she didn't give any such statement to police.

Shapla said she would "think" about filing complaints against Fareez once the condition of her husband, now under treatment at the capital's United Hospital, improved.

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