In yet another example of reckless auto-rickshaw driving, on Sunday morning an auto on the Madhyamgram Barasat route hit a four-yearold boy on Jessore Road and simply sped past him. The boy received serious injuries on his head, left leg and hands. The accident sparked tension in the locality and autos plying in the nearby areas were affected for quite a while.
Hatkhola resident Rajkumar Das was walking along the street with his elder brother, when the speeding auto ran over his left foot and dragged him along for a distance of over 20 feet. The child also received injuries to his head and hands.
Das was initially taken to Barasat hospital, from where doctors referred him to R G Kar hospital. Doctors at RG Kar hospital initially advised the family to admit the boy for a month, as his left foot needs to be operated on. However, the boy's father, Babai Das, being unable to afford the expenses involved, brought him back on the same day. Doctors have asked Das to get Rajkumar to go for regular check ups at Barasat hospital.
“We were walking by the side of the road, when the auto hit my brother. The driver stopped the auto at a distance, came to look at us and then left, without doing anything. My brother lay on the streets crying in pain,” said the victim's elder brother.
Auto services were adversely affected in the Barrack poreBarasat-Taki area following this incident, with local people preventing them from plying. They complained that autos on these routes are always overloaded with five or six passengers, which is illegal according to the government's present directive.
“The auto driver should have stopped instead of speeding past my son who was lying on the road crying. The passengers were also so heartless; they too could have stopped him. Also, when we went to file an FIR with the Barasat police station, they kept us waiting for three hours,” said the boy's father.
Transport minister Madan Mitra reacted to the incident immediately and assured an inquiry into the matter. “There was no apparent reason behind the auto hitting the child and speeding away. It's a Sunday, and there is hardly any chaos on the roads,” he said.
“We are checking autos at several places, so that they don't take more than four passengers at a time. I'm trying to contact the boy's family, so that I can visit him,” Mitra added.
On August 16, another four year old Adrika Ghoshal was dragged 30 meters by an auto when she fell out of her mother's lap after the auto hit a manhole. The incident at Baranagar sent shockwaves throughout the city on the reckless driving by auto drivers. The girl's mother held onto her as the auto's rear wheels drove over little Adrika's legs. She suffered multiple fractures on her left leg and critical injuries on her face, lower abdomen.