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Man dies after falling into Mayur Vihar drain two months after a boy was saved

Out on his regular evening walk, a 55-year-old businessman died after falling in an uncovered drain maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD) in east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar on Sunday.

delhi Updated: Jul 25, 2017 10:01 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times
Businessman,Mayur Vihar,open manhole
The drain in which Anil Gupta fell during his evening walk on Sunday. The drain was reportedly covered after Gupta died.(HT Photo)

Out on his regular evening walk, a 55-year-old businessman died after falling in an uncovered drain maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD) in east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar on Sunday. The ‘death drain’ , locals say, is notorious for such accidents. A boy had reportedly fallen into it two months ago and was rescued by locals.

Police said initial investigations have suggested that Anil Gupta slipped into an open part of the drain while heading towards a park nearby. PWD officials, however, said their internal probe revealed Gupta was pushed into the drain following a quarrel. Police said they would probe all possibilities.

In any case, local residents alleged this was not the first time a living being fell into the 10-feet deep drain. “In the last two-three months alone, a child and a cow fell in the drain. Fortunately, we were able to pull them out on time,” said Raja Kumar, a vendor near the accident spot.

Family members of Anil Gupta grieve his loss. (HT Photo)

A visit to the spot on Monday revealed that the drain was left open at multiple points through a 100-metre stretch. Despite locals covering the gap at the accident spot with slabs, the other openings remained a threat to visitors.

Gupta lived with his wife in Mayur Vihar phase-3. His daughter lives with her family in Uttar Pradesh while his two sons are settled in the UK and Germany. Gupta owned shops dealing in car accessories and garments.

According to his family, Gupta rarely missed his evening walks. “He preferred the DDA park outside our neighbourhood. He would ride a scooter to the park and then take a walk,” said Deepak.

On Sunday, Gupta left home around 4 pm but found the area right outside the park gate waterlogged. “This spot has water round the year. But the rain had made it worse,” said Raja, a local.

The water in the already fast-flowing drain had risen in height because of the incessant rain preceding the accident. While no eyewitnesses to the actual accident emerged, locals described what they heard from people who helped the victim after he fell in the drain.

Rajkumar Verma, Gupta’s friend and a staffer at the DDA park near the accident spot, claimed some women passing heard the victim’s cries for help.

“He was nearly drowning in the drain but managed to call out for help. The women heard his cries and joined hands with some men to pull him out. Gupta was still alive at that moment and signalled them to take him to a hospital and assured them that they wouldn’t have to pay the hospital fees,” Verma said.

Gupta was rushed to a nearby hospital but his family alleged that they were denied help. The allegations were echoed by Maheish Girri, East Delhi MP, who visited Gupta’s family on Monday and demanded action against the hospital which refused to treat or admit the victim.

When Gupta was taken to another hospital in neighbouring Noida, he was declared brought dead. His family believes he died because of a large intake of dirty water. Police said they would await the autopsy report before concluding on what killed Gupta. “There were no visible external injuries on his body,” said an investigator.

Delhi BJP chief, Manoj Tiwari, meanwhile, urged the local police to book and arrest the concerned “PWD officials whose negligence has resulted in an untimely irreparable loss for the family”.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 23:55 IST