UDUPI: In what could be termed as the height of insensitivity, Manipal police have booked the father of an 18-month-old child who died after their vehicle hit a pothole on October 2. Chirag was on his mother’s lap while his father Umesh Poojary was riding the vehicle on their way to Hiriyadka from Manipal. Chirag was thown off the bike when it hit a pothole and died on the spot. Parents escaped with minor injuries.
Even before the parents could come out of the shock, the family is aghast to know that Umesh has been booked under IPC Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life of others) and 304 A (causing death by negligence).The police got Umesh’s brother-in-law Krishna Poojary to lodge a complaint against him. When Krishna went to Manipal police station to lodge a complaint over the incident to complete the formality on the fateful day, the staff there ‘guided’ him to file a complaint.
Krishna Poojari told Express: “When I went to Manipal police station, the writer wrote the complaint letter for me. I was in a shock over the loss of my nephew to realise that the complaint was being booked against Umesh.”
Udupi Superintendent of Police Dr Sanjeev Patil expressed helplessness for booking the father citing the Indian Motor Vehicles Act. “I cannot comment on why the father has been charged. It has to be ascertained whether it is an engineering fault or the rider’s negligence that caused the death. That will be clear as the investigation proceeds.”
The road where the accident occurred was upgraded into a national highway a few years ago.
The SP said he was collecting documents from NHAI officials to see if there was any negligence on their part. If it is proved that officials did not rectify the defect that resulted in the death of the child, a case will be registered against them, he added.