Potholes have claimed another life in Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s city on the fast track. Flung off a cycle-rickshaw as it fell into a crater, a six-year-old girl was then run over by a Matador on Phoolbagan Road on Tuesday afternoon.
Unzruna died on the spot after being crushed by the rear wheels of the Matador.
According to police, the mishap occurred near Beniapukur police station around 3 pm, when Unzruna and her eight-year-old sister Rukhsana were returning from Albany Hall school with their father Sahabuddin Ahmed.
“The driver of the Matador was trying to overtake the cycle-rickshaw when it fell into the pothole. Unzruna was flung off the cycle-rickshaw and came under the wheels of the vehicle,” officer-in-charge of Beniapukur police station Anil Kumar Jana told Metro.
“The girl was taken to National Medical College and Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The driver was arrested and the vehicle was taken to the thana,” he added.
Kindergarten student Unzruna and Rukhsana, who is in Class I, were going to their aunt’s house on Phoolbagan Road with their father.
Sahabuddin fainted after seeing his younger daughter lying on the road, bleeding. Rukhsana was too shocked to react. Bystanders took Unzruna to hospital.
“I hired a rickshaw near the school, as I do every day, but instead of going home, I decided to take my daughters to my elder sister’s house. I will regret the decision for the rest of my life. What will I tell their mother'” wept the father.
Sahabuddin, a medicine supplier, lives with his family in Karaya’s Chamru Khansama Lane.
According to witnesses, the Matador was travelling at high speed. “The rickshaw swerved left and hit the pothole. Such was the impact that Unzruna was flung off the vehicle,” said bystander Ahmed Ali.
“Luckily, her elder sister did not fall off. Unzruna’s head was smashed. The rickshaw-puller fled after the mishap,” added another witness.
Residents went on the rampage after news of the death spread. They beat up the Matador driver and later put up a blockade on CIT Road for over half-an-hour to protest the potholed condition of the stretch.
“A large police contingent brought the situation under control. The demonstrators were demanding immediate repair of the road,” said Jana.
Unzruna’s body was brought home in the evening. “She was such a bright child... Now she has been snatched away from me,” cried mother Afsana Begum.