“My son, my first-born, was precious to me. What crime had he committed to deserve this fate?” said a shattered Ashfaq Ahmed (30), whose son Mohammed Imran (2) died after being run over on Tuesday night by an SUV driven by a man who police said had been spotted drinking earlier.
Mohammed’s mother, Gulshana (28), was in a state of shock. Her face showed no emotion as she sat amid a crowd of weeping relatives and neighbours. She clung on to Mohammed’s sister, three-month-old Yasmeen, throughout.
Ashfaq, a furniture manufacturer, said Mohammed would regularly go to the grocery store opposite his house to buy sweets after dinner. Mohammed was crossing the road to get to the store when he was run over.
Mohammed stayed with his family in a one-room house at Kamla Raman Nagar in Govandi’s Bainganwadi area. The area, just off the Eastern Express Highway, is choc-a-bloc with chawls and tiny Slum Rehabilitation Authority buildings. There are several slums, too, which make Bainganwadi extremely congested. In the lanes, pedestrians walk on the road as there are no footpaths. Such is the pedestrian density that even a two-wheeler cannot pass easily.
Ashfaq’s house is in one such lane. It is merely 15 feet wide and very congested, making it a hazard for vehicles and pedestrians alike.
“I hope the culprits are caught and punished severely,” said an inconsolable Ashfaq. He said Mohammed, who turned two in January, was learning to talk and could manage broken sentences. “My son’s body was totally crushed, I will never forgive the men who killed him,” said Ashfaq, minutes after he buried his son at the Shivajinagar graveyard.