A father chased down a bus along AJC Bose Road that had taken off with his five-year-old son on the footboard at the Moulali crossing on Wednesday afternoon.
Rajeev Lodha said the bus started off with his son hanging precariously on the footboard while he and his wife were still on the road.
Prakher fell down and would have come under the left rear wheels if his mother hadn’t pulled him away at the last moment. The passengers raised the alarm but the driver sped away.
The boy’s father hailed a taxi and chased the bus for more than a kilometre till the Theatre Road crossing, where he intercepted the vehicle and called a traffic sergeant. The bus driver was booked and his licence seized.
The incident occurred when the Lodha family, returning to their Hazra Road home from a relative’s place, was trying to board a bus (route 45B) at the bus stop near the mosque at the Moulali crossing. The driver was in a hurry to catch up with another bus of the same route that had started from Sealdah minutes before this one.
“We waved at the second bus that stopped. The conductor asked us to hurry up. My son was holding the rod at the front door but before he could get in the bus driver began accelerating. My son lost control and fell down. I grabbed his right hand and somehow managed to pull him from under the bus,” said Nawneet, a homemaker.
Prakher was in a state of shock and had bruises on his legs. “My son could have died. How could the driver be so negligent when a kid was boarding his vehicle? I wanted to teach him a lesson,” Lodha said.
The driver was not arrested and was allowed to drive away though his licence was seized.
“We allow a bus driver to complete his trip even after seizing his licence. His licence has been punched and if he breaks traffic rules on two more occasions, it will be cancelled,” a senior officer said.
Given the history of bus drivers carrying multiple licences, losing one may not be a loss at all.