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Indian teen allegedly kills two while drunk driving. As punishment, he was told to write an essay

Anger is growing in India after a teenager who allegedly killed two people while drunk driving was ordered to write an essay as punishment, with many demanding a harsher penalty and accusing the judiciary of leniency.

The 17-year-old boy was allegedly speeding in a Porsche in the city of Pune on Sunday when the vehicle hit a motorcycle, killing two people, according to Maharashtra state’s deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The minor was taken into custody and later presented to the Juvenile Justice Board, where he was released on bail and given 15 days of community service. He was also asked to write an essay about road safety, Fadnavis said.

“The outrage grew after this. According to police, the boy is 17 years and 8 months. This is a heinous crime,” he told reporters Tuesday, pointing to the 2015 changes to India’s juvenile laws, which allow children above 16 to be tried as adults if they allegedly commit a “heinous” crime.

“This was a surprising order passed (by the Juvenile Justice Board),” Fadnavis said.

Fadnavis added that Pune police are investigating the minor for alleged culpable homicide not amounting to murder. They have also asked the Juvenile Court to review its bail order, he said.

CCTV video, purportedly filmed moments before the crash, shows a white Porsche speeding down a busy main road. People can be seen rushing to the scene of the crash, which is not pictured in the video that was shared widely on social media and broadcast on local news channels.

The minor’s father has been arrested for allegedly allowing his son to drive despite being underage, according to Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar. The legal driving age in India is 18.

Three people who served the minor liquor have also been arrested, Kumar added.

“We have adopted the most stringent possible approach, and we shall do whatever is at our command to ensure that the two young lives that were lost get justice, and the accused gets duly punished,” he said.

The incident has dominated headlines in India and sparked widespread anger, with many taking to social media to condemn the boy’s bail conditions.

Suresh Koshta, whose 24-year-old daughter was killed in the crash, urged authorities to take tougher action against the alleged driver.

“It was wrong (to allow the minor to drive),” he told reporters outside his home, while fighting back tears. “One needs to know how to drive first.”

Rahul Gandhi, the leader of India’s main opposition, the Indian National Congress, questioned whether a bus or taxi driver would be given the same punishment.

“If a 16-17-year-old son of a wealthy household, driving a Porsche under the influence, is caught, he is asked to write an essay,” Gandhi said in a video posted to X. “Why aren’t essays assigned to truck drivers or bus drivers?”

This isn’t the first time a court’s verdict has been scrutinized in this manner.

In 2015, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who was facing a lengthy prison sentence for a fatal hit-and-run, got a reprieve when the Bombay High Court tossed out his conviction for lack of evidence, causing widespread outrage.

“On basis of evidences produced by the prosecution, the appellant cannot be convicted, no matter how differently the common man thinks,” the court said.

The hit-and-run incident took place outside a Mumbai bakery in September 2002, with prosecutors saying Khan ran over five sleeping men after losing control of his vehicle. He was returning from a bar after a night of drinking, they said.

The actor said he wasn’t the driver.

One of the victims was killed; the others injured.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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