A teenaged granddaughter of Ritwik Ghatak died in a private hospital on Sunday afternoon, two days after a car in which she had gone on a joyride with a few Facebook friends fell into a roadside ditch in Sonarpur.
Aditi Ghatak, 18, a first-year student of English at South Calcutta Girls’ College, suffered three cardiac arrests after her lungs, filled with water, stopped functioning, doctors said. “Aditi had been underwater for sometime and both her lungs were full of water and moss. They were not functioning,” said Tapas Roy, the head of internal medicine at Ruby General Hospital, who treated Aditi.
Aditi’s mother and the film-maker’s elder daughter, Samhita, blamed her daughter’s friend Gyanjit Patar, who was driving the car, for the accident. “Gyanjit was at the wheel and he did not have a driving licence. My daughter died because of his reckless driving,” she alleged. “My daughter was a good swimmer. How could she drown? They had probably drugged her.”
A complaint lodged with Tiljala police station mentions that Gyanjit did not have a driving licence but is silent on the drug charge. The complaint was forwarded to Sonarpur police station at the insistence of neighbour and minister Firhad Hakim, who met Samhita at the hospital and spoke to the Sonarpur OC.
The Sonarpur police, however, said preliminary investigation indicated it was an accident and there had been no foul play. “We are yet to ascertain if Gyanjit had a driving licence. We will interrogate him,” said an officer. The accused, a resident of Kasba, had not been picked up for interrogation till late on Sunday evening, police sources said.
In her complaint, Samhita stated that she received a call from the hospital authorities around 11pm on Friday. “I was told that my daughter had met with an accident and her condition was critical. When I reached the hospital, she was in the Intensive Therapy Unit,” she recalled. “I learnt that Gyanjit and two girls had brought her to the hospital.”
According to family sources, Aditi left her Chetla home, with Gyanjit and Alisha Poddar, around 7pm.
The cops have learnt that the trio went to a café on Lake Road. “Two more girls joined us and they decided to go on a long drive. I had some work, so I came back home,” Alisha told Metro.
Gyanjit told the hospital authorities that he lost control of his blue WagonR while driving through Kheyadaha in Sonarpur and it fell into a roadside canal, police said. “Aditi was sitting next to the left rear window and that side of the car was submerged. The others could be pulled out easily, but it took some time for local residents to bring Aditi out as the window had to be smashed open,” said an officer.
Aditi was taken to hospital in a taxi by her friends. “The clothes of all three were wet and they had bruises on their bodies. We put the young girl, who was unconscious by then, on life support but her condition was very critical,” said Subhasish Dutta, the senior manager (operations) of the hospital said.