A 13-year-old girl was killed on her way to school when a private bus contracted to ferry schoolchildren rammed into her father’s motorcycle from behind in north Delhi on Tuesday morning.
This was the second fatal accident of a schoolgirl in as many days, after a private school van ran over a four-year-old kindergarten student Anushka in east Delhi’s Shakarpur on Monday.
Police said teenager Pooja Kumari was killed in the Burari area when the bus was rashly trying to overtake the bike of her father, Munna Lal.
Pooja and sister Trinka were riding pillion.
Pooja fell to her right on impact and instead of applying the brakes, the bus driver allegedly ran over her — crushing her spine and head under the rear wheel.
The father and sister, who fell to the left, watched in horror as Pooja’s bones snapped.
The driver, 33-year-old Padam Singh, was arrested and a case registered against him, deputy commissioner of police (north) Jatin Narwal said.
“Lal said the bus hit his bike from behind and he lost balance. He said the driver did not stop and overtook from the right, crushing Pooja. When passersby tried to stop the bus, the driver abandoned the vehicle and ran away.”
The driver was not drunk, an officer said.
Many schools in New Delhi and its satellite cities hire private buses to ferry children. The buses make headlines for fatal accidents and abusive behaviour of drivers and helpers towards kids, as laws and rules governing these vehicles are seldom implemented strictly and often broken.
Parents complain and protest after each incident, but they are forced to go back to the faulty system in the absence of alternatives.
The van involved in Monday’s accident did not have rear-view mirrors on either side. The girl was standing behind and the driver reversed the van without giving a hoot if someone or something was at the rear of the vehicle.
The driver was arrested. But most of them get bail while the maximum punishment for charges they face — rash and negligent driving causing death — is just two years in prison.