The selfie craze seems to have gone very awry in India.
The Washington Post has reported that of at least 27 “selfie-related” deaths around the world last year, about half occurred in India. Indians were killed by an oncoming train, falling out of a boat, falling off a cliff, falling into a canal and drowning in the sea while taking selfies. In September, a Japanese died after falling down the steps of the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie.
Mumbai Police have begun a process of identifying spots mostly near beaches and forts in the city to ban selfies.
“As of now we have not identified any spot where people will not allow clicking selfie. But it is in the process and we are planning to spread awareness through social media. As of now we have not written to any agency but shortly we would begin the process,” Mumbai Police spokesperson, DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni, said.
This is all a fallout of January 9 incident when around 11am, 18-year-old Tarannum Ansari and two of her classmates, Anjum Khan and Masturi Khan, had gone to Bandstand for a picnic.
Ansari and her friends, both girls, who were standing on the edge of a rocky patch around 50 meters inside the Bandra Fort slipped while she was taking a selfie. Ramesh Walunj, a driver, was passing by when he noticed cries for help near the fort. Walunj ran towards them and dived in to save the girls.
He managed to bring Anjum and Masturi out and after leaving them ashore, he went back for Tarannum to save her but was not successful. Walunj’s body was found on Monday while Tarannum is still missing.
Authorities at last year’s Kumbh Mela in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar had established no-selfie zones in certain areas last year because they feared bottlenecks caused by selfie-takers could spark stampedes.