A Japanese tourist died on Sunday morning after being knocked down by a lorry on Strand Road, in the Hare Street police station area, late on Saturday.
Thirty-year-old Ashuka Hamada had travelled all the way from Japan to be part of the Holi festivities at the Jorasanko Thakurbari. The accident occurred while she was returning from Jorasanko on Saturday, where she had gone to watch the pre-Doljatra celebrations.
According to the police, Ashuka had arrived in the city a few days ago for Doljatra. “She had gone to the Thakurbari on Saturday afternoon and had probably participated in the revelry there,” said deputy commissioner of police (central) Zulfiquar Hasan.
“On her way back, Ashuka may have decided to take a stroll along the riverfront. As she was crossing the road from east to west, the lorry speeding towards Brabourne Road hit her from behind and she slumped to the ground,” he added.
An officer of Jorasanko police station said: “Bystanders rushed her to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, where she underwent surgery. Ashuka succumbed to her injuries around 4 am on Sunday, after a nearly six-hour battle.” The driver fled with the vehicle.
At the hospital, doctors found multiple injuries on Ashuka’s body. She received serious wounds on the head and all her ribs were broken, sources said. The body has been sent for post-mortem.
The police have informed the Japanese consulate of Ashuka’s death.
“We will hand the body over to them after receiving the post-mortem report. The consulate office will then send the body to Japan,” said Hasan.
As news of the death spread, local residents blocked Strand Road for half-an-hour and held a demonstration demanding immediate arrest of the driver. Traffic movement in the area was disrupted as a result.