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Monday , February 1 , 2010
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Dad finger at flat tyre, not alcohol
Nooriya Haveliwala

Mumbai, Jan. 31: The father of Nooriya Haveliwala, the beautician accused of drunken driving that killed two persons in south Mumbai on Saturday, has claimed that his 27-year-old daughter was a social drinker and suggested that a flat tyre might be the cause of the accident.

Yusuf Haveliwala, a 72-year-old psychiatrist who once served in the army, told reporters that Nooriya had phoned him after the accident and said she lost control of the car probably because of a flat tyre.

“Police are claiming 457ml of alcohol was found in her blood, but with so much alcohol, she would not have been able to even walk properly. She could not have been so drunk because she was not tottering. She was at a friend’s place, not at some ghetto,” Yusuf said.

The police had said she had around eight pegs of alcohol although the permissible limit for drivers was 30ml.

The vehicle she was driving crashed into a taxi, a motorcycle and a police jeep around 12.30am on Saturday, killing the motorbike rider and a sub-inspector. Four policemen, who were part of a weekend drive to prevent drunken driving, were injured.

Yusuf said it was true that some beer cans were found in her Honda CRV, but they were sealed. He said it was possible that the breathalyser test conducted on her was faulty. “She also told me that she had a cough syrup after drinking as she was coughing,” he told a news channel.

Yusuf, who lives on the 18th floor of sea-facing Sagar Sangeet apartments in Colaba, claimed that his daughter had informed him about the accident minutes later, and told him that she was going to a police station on Marine Lines.

“We have not been allowed to meet her (since the accident),” said Yusuf, who broke down in the court when his daughter was produced there yesterday afternoon. The court has remanded her in police custody till February 5.

Police sources said the 27-year-old had studied at the Kodaikanal International School in Tamil Nadu. She had lived in Los Angeles from 2006 to 2009, then returned to India after completing a course in make-up and styling.

Himanshu Roy, the joint commissioner of police (law and order) refused to comment on Yusuf’s statements.

The police are awaiting a medical report to find out if Nooriya had consumed drugs. “We should get the report within a week,” an officer said.

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