HYDERABAD: Much like a movie scene, negligent and irresponsible driving by a group of youngsters claimed the life of a poor man who had made footpath his shelter. G Ashok, a cobbler, who was sleeping on the footpath outside his makeshift shop, was run over and killed on the spot at DAE locality here late Sunday night.
According to police, four B Tech students of Sri Nidhi Engineering College were proceeding towards Tarnaka from AS Rao Nagar last night after partying with their friends when one of them, who was behind the wheel, lost control while negotiating a divider. The Skoda sedan that she was driving drifted and smashed on the footpath, killing Ashok at around 12.30 am Monday.
The accused was identified as Eeshanya (19). She was accompanied by friends Amrutha, Harika and Srujana, one of whom is the daughter of a police inspector working in Hyderabad. The car was her own but registered in her mother’s name. Soon after the incident, reports emerged that all four girls were drunk at the time of accident. “A case of negligent driving causing death has been registered. The accused was arrested and remanded to judicial custody,” said K Chandra Shekar, inspector, Kushaiguda PS.
However, police later refuted claims that the girls were drunk and said that breath analyser test was performed on them soon after taking them to police station for questioning. “Only one of them was drunk. The driver of the car was not driving under influence of alcohol,” police claimed, adding that the accused possessed a valid driving license.
A single fun night for four young girls, flipped the life of an entire family, leaving them with nothing. Ashok, the cobbler who was killed in the accident, was a native of Karnataka and had migrated to the city 25 years ago. He was living in a rented house in Mirjalguda along with wife and three sons.
As it gets really hot inside his house in the summer, on some days, Ashok and his son used to stay back at his shop and sleep on the pavement. Unfortunately for the family, he decided to sleep outside his shop on Sunday night, when the Skoda driven by teenager Eeshanya smashed across the footpath, killing him.
According to police, the four girls who were in the car were returning after a birthday party at a bar called Up-The Rooftop Lounge in AS Rao Nagar. The accident happened when they were proceeding to drop a friend in Tarnaka. The locals immediately informed 108 medical emergency staff and police. Ashok was rushed to Gandhi Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Ashok’s family is still in a state of shock, unable to understand how the revelry of some people can take away the life of an innocent man sleeping on the pavement for some fresh air. Ashok was their only breadwinner. The accident that happened in split second brought down the wall that holds a temporary roof over the dabba where Ashok used to mend shoes.
The family had saved all their belongings in that space. They all lie destroyed now, under debris and rubble. “All that Ashok built over the last 25 years have been reduced to nothing, except a few clothes that were left to dry on a tree branch” said one relative fuming in anger. Ashok’s son Mahesh was asleep inside the little shed when the accident happened.
“Suddenly, a branch fell on me and I woke up with a stir. I opened my eyes and all that I could see was dust. I then looked for my father who wasn’t to be seen where he originally slept. By the time I reached out, I spotted him several yards away, blood dripping from all over,” he recalled. Another relative gave a parting message: “Future of Ashok’s family is as dead as he is right now.”
Earlier incidents of rash driving
July 11, 2017: A 20-year-old student Fasahat Ali died on the spot and two others were injured when the car rammed a divider in Banjara Hills.
July 30, 2017: A nine-year-old boy Azam Allahuddin was killed and seven of his cousins injured when the car in which they were travelling rammed a median and overturned in Shamshabad.