Arati Majumdar, 60, was injured while attempting to cut through high-speed traffic on APC Road, in front of Khanna cinema, on Thursday afternoon. She was rushed to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, even as police booked her for jaywalking.
According to witnesses, Arati, a retired CESC employee, was crossing the thoroughfare, waving at drivers to slow down so she could pass. As she rushed to beat the traffic, Arati tripped on a road divider and fell. Three vehicles barely managed to avoid hitting her. “She, however, hurt herself badly in the fall,’’ said officer-in-charge of Lalbazar traffic control room Sunil Dey.
Three policemen manning the area picked Arati up and took her to RG Kar. “We registered a case against her for jaywalking at Burtola police station. She was arrested but released on bail, since she was injured and is undergoing treatment at the hospital. We have asked her to report to the thana as soon as she recovers,’’ Dey said.
Police confirmed that Arati had been discharged from hospital late on Thursday. “Our officers escorted her to her Simla Street residence, in north Calcutta,’’ an officer said.
Witnesses said Arati could have availed of the zebra crossing 50 metres from where she was, and waited for the lights to change. “It is unfortunate that people like her do not follow basic road rules. That is why we have decided to initiate a case against her for jaywalking,’’ said deputy commissioner of police (traffic) M.K. Singh.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has publicly denounced the “irresponsible road manners of pedestrians” and directed his police force to take appropriate steps to crack down on jaywalking.
Thursday found police chief Sujoy Chakraborty chalking out a strategy to clear the pavements in the busy stretches of central and south Calcutta. Chakraborty called senior officers to his office and announced plans to impose restrictions on hawkers and food vendors on Park Street, Theatre Road, Chowringhee and the surrounding areas.
A proposed move is on for vendors to put out their wares only between 11.30 am and 2 pm. “Lunch time does not fall into the peak traffic-hour category, and so this rule can be implemented in pockets of south and central Calcutta,’’ deputy commissioner Singh said.
Police, meanwhile, continued the drive against jaywalking on Park Street, Theatre Road, AJC Bose Road and in Chowringhee and Esplanade. Officers at the Lalbazar traffic control room said 12 pedestrians were charged with jaywalking, fined and released on bail.