Death highlights traffic malaise

A truck crushed to death a 12-year-old boy, who had gone to buy flowers for his mother's Teej puja, near Danapur station on Wednesday morning, sparking angry protests and highlighting the poor traffic management on the capital district's roads in general and the busy Patna-Bihta route in particular.

By Roshan Kumar
  • Published 13.09.18
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The grieving family members of Ankit Kumar on Wednesday. Picture by Piyush Sharma

Patna: A truck crushed to death a 12-year-old boy, who had gone to buy flowers for his mother's Teej puja, near Danapur station on Wednesday morning, sparking angry protests and highlighting the poor traffic management on the capital district's roads in general and the busy Patna-Bihta route in particular.

Ankit Kumar, the younger son of Khedalpur resident Jitendra Kumar, was a student of the Bal Vidhyalaya in Danapur run by the Mahila Railway Kalyan Sangh.

He was going to the Danapur area on his cycle to buy flowers. "It was around 7am," said Sanjay Kumar, a local resident. "When Ankit reached near Krishna Nagar, a truck coming from the opposite direction hit him.

The boy's lower portion was crushed by the truck's rear wheels."

Ankit died on the spot.

As the news spread, residents of Khedalpur's Jamaluddin Chak reached the spot - which is under the jurisdiction of the Khagaul police station area - along with Ankit's father Jitendra, who is a real estate agent, and mother Poonam Devi.

The parents were inconsolable. The mother was screaming, cursing herself for having asked her son to bring flowers for the puja.

Angry local residents blocked the Patna-Bihta highway for more than two hours by burning tyres on the road.

The residents blamed the police and district administration for the death, and asked why trucks are allowed to speed through residential areas.

Policemen and other officials at the spot. Picture by Piyush Sharma

"The highway near Danapur junction has become accident prone as the traffic police personnel deputed on the stretch are not serious about their job. They are mostly busy collecting money from auto drivers and trucks," said Uday Shankar Yadav, a local resident.

He said that in past six months more than a dozen accidents have occurred on the stretch but the district administration has not taken any steps to check rash driving on the route.

The residents' protest sparked traffic snarls on the busy route. The angry residents did not allow police to take Ankit's body for post mortem.

Later, Danapur additional superintendent of police Manoj Kumar Tiwari and sub divisional officer Amitabh Kumar Gupta reached the spot to pacify the protesters.

"We will streamline traffic on the stretch and will take action against the traffic cops involved in accepting bribes from auto and truck drivers," Tiwari said. "Speeds of vehicles will also be regularised on the route."

Eventually, the blockade was lifted and the police took the body for post mortem.

The district administration officials as per government rules gave a cheque of Rs 40,000 as compensation to Ankit's family members but they refused to take it.