Tragic accident: Main accused in drag race case arrested

Majid Naheem arrested on Saturday after he withdrew his application for bail.

Obaid Abbasi December 19, 2010

RAWALPINDI: Majid Naheem, who was driving the car that ran over five people in Bahria Town drag race, was arrested on Saturday after he withdrew his application for bail.

Moreover, Sheikh Arif -- co-accused and chief organiser of the race -- did not appear before the additional district and session court and his counsel instead presented a doctor’s note advising him bed rest.

Justice Chaudhry Aurangzeb rejected Arif’s non-prosecution bail and directed the investigation officer to examine the medical report for authenticity.

The third accused in the case Waleed Khan, co-organiser, appeared before the court without his lawyer and requested the court to extend his interim bail. The bail was extended till December 20.

Previously, Justice Muhammad Iqbal had granted interim bail to Majid Naheem and Sheikh Arif against surety bonds of Rs100,000 and transferred the case to district and session judge. The district and session judge forwarded the case to additional district and session judge, who set the hearing for Saturday.

The five spectators were killed when Naheem lost control of his car which skidded off the road and ran them over. The race was being organised in Phase VIII of Bahria Town, a posh locality in the outskirts of the twin cities. The relatives of the deceased lodged an FIR with the Civil Line Police against Arif, Naheem, Waleed Khan, Ali Riaz and others.

In a drag race, two challengers race down a straight road. Usually, light sports cars fitted with powerful engines are used. Winning the race requires being able to change gears quickly and smoothly at the perfect time (depending on the optimum revolutions per minute (rpm) of the engine). Since the cars normally speed down a straight road, spectators feel safe standing just on the side and watching the events unfold at relative proximity.

Drivers are required to keep a close watch on their rpms. Turning and manoeuvring skills are not tested. Naheem, however, lost control over his vehicle and drove off the track. Because the car was at a high speed, the spectators did not have any time to move out of the way or run for safety.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2010.


Shehryar Jafri | 12 years ago | Reply A.Sohail there is no place in the world where we get licenses for drag races of modified stock cars! The only drag licenses that we get are of those drag racing cars if you know about them. Secondly name one drag race school in the world who trains people for dragging their modified cars not those dragsters and i will myself write a letter to the SC asking an arrest request of all the other culprits and thirdly yes his car passed all the tests and you can be provided with a report of that too but passing the tests does not mean the person cannot make a mistake. Mr.Suhail a person was a millimeter away from death do you expect him to think of anything else and do you believe that it was a vehicular-slaughter by means ? & Maulana Diesel this car had proper tires that are for drag races. Do you think a person who is this old & who is racing from a very long time all over Pakistan and winning events does not know what kind of tires he has to put up that can cope up with the speed ? And do you think a person who owns a Modified Toyota Supra does not know about tires ? Think about it sir. & Mohsin Akram i second you on that.I totally agree that a single accident cannot stop the motor sports. If in this case we are stopping motorsports then i believe we should turn this country into an Army ruled country and we should stop all political activies through out the country because it kills millions every year.
Mohsin Ikram | 12 years ago | Reply An accident is an accident. The driver or the organisers did not intend to race to kill people. The objective was to indulge in motorsports and have fun. It was unfortunate that the event consumed five lives. The driver and the organisers should be let go with a strong reprimand and government instructed to announce measures to promote motorsports in Pakistan by providing easy leased lands for all kinds of motor racing. I will hold the spectators equally responsible by standing in locations where the car was at highest speeds. They should have been careful as well. Furthermore, in 1955 Le Mans race had a similar accident where a speeding car ran over a slower car and catapulted in the crowd killing 87 people. Le Mans is still being run annually and driver and organisers of that ill fated race were not arrested. So take this unfortunate accident as a major lesson and a way forward. Motorsports has to go on.
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