Corrugated metal sheets stained in Blood

The crumpled piece of yellow and black corrugated metal sheet is stained in blood as shards of glass lie scattered all over the pavement. This November night though pleasant and cool in its exterior has been stark witness to a sinister crime. The only mistake committed by the victims was that they happened to be sleeping on a pavement. The young immature “allegedly” drunken joy riders have struck again, hurling their fast car, fueled on a deadly mix of alcohol and petrol into Mumbai’s innocent poor killing them instantly.

According to PTI

Six persons, including two children, were killed and eight others injured when they were run over by a car on Carter Road in Bandra, Mumbai, in the wee hours today.

The incident happened around 3:45 am, the police said, adding that the victims, construction workers from Tamil Nadu, were sleeping on the pavement when a Toyota Corolla mowed them over.

“Three youths have been arrested, of which two, including the driver, tested positive for alcohol,” Additional Commissioner of Police (West region) Bipin Bihari said. The accused were returning from a private party, he added.

A case has been registered against Aliston Pereira, (21) who was driving the car, Calvin (18) and Jacob, all residents of Bandra, at Khar police station.

A five-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl, three women and a man were among the dead, while six men and two women were injured, the police said, adding that the injured were admitted to Bhabha Hospital in Bandra.

I feel stronger about this story than I usually would. A few days ago I happened to walk pass the encampments where these migrant workers from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu lived. I took this picture of this young girl calling out to her kid brother. I cant help feeling haunted by the fact that the girl in the picture and her brother could possibly be dead. I only hope and pray that they are not among the casualties.

2 Comments so far

  1. Nikhil Sanghvi (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    The drunk boisterous kids are not the only ones to blame for this tragedy. The Politicians who allow slums to rise on pavements to create Vote Banks are as much to blame. All along P D’mello Road and others where slums have sprung up on Pavements we can see small kids playing on the road with vehicles rolling by. You can also see Khatias ( bed of bamboo sticks tied together with coir ropes) spead out on the roads so that almost one lane of the road is occupied by these slums.

    These kids deserve to be punished but what about careful drivers who face the prospect of knocking out a kid who runs onto the road from a hut. You do not have to be drunk to have an accident.

    The administrators of Mumbai are equally to be blamed.

    Who will bell the cat?

  2. Akshay (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    Nikhil – I don’t know who you are trying to defend here. This specific incident was no accident, the victim here were not on the road but on a pavement [they also happened to be sleeping]- it may have been me walking on that pavement but it happened to poor construction workers on this occasions. The issue is not about slums it about road rage and drunk driving in Mumbai. The poor are always easy scapegoats more so when you are drunk and driving fast. I think the larger issue here rash driving – not slums.

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