For the Bhatnagars, a trip to a nearby shopping mall on March 29 turned tragic when six teenagers racing each other on fast bikes hit them and left them severely injured. A class VIII student was reportedly driving the bike that hit Ruchira (41) and her husband Pankaj Bhatnagar (45). Both have been admitted to Max Balaji Hospital in Patparganj with severe head and bone injuries.
“We were in the middle of the road and did not know whether to step forward or back. These kids were speeding and didn’t stop despite seeing us,” said Pankaj, a chartered accountant, from his hospital bed.
The impact was such that both Pankaj and Ruchira were flung in the air and fell on their heads. “A neighbour who was passing by took us to a nearby hospital. Four of the bikers had also suffered injuries. I had not entirely lost consciousness and called my sister,” said Bhatnagar. Bhatnagar lost his spectacles and mobile phone in the ensuing melee.
“I do not remember what happened,” said Ruchira Bhatnagar, a teacher at Bal Bharti School. Her skull was left open due to the impact.
Police said the Juvenile Justice Act prevented them from arresting the teenagers and they were looking for provisions to book their parents.
“All of them were part of the same group and were racing with each other. All are residents of Krishna Nagar and sons of property dealers and businessmen,” said a senior police officer. Police said they were verifying the age and other details of the teenagers from their respective schools.
“After hitting my brother and sister-in-law they fled from the scene. They were traced with the help of a broken number plate. It was after some senior officer’s intervention that the police registered a case,” said Anita Sharan, Pankaj’s sister.
A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered at the Anand Vihar police station.
Meanwhile, police admit that underage driving is turning out to be a big problem in the city. In the past two and a half months alone Delhi traffic Police has taken action against 6,682 parents for letting their children drive.