Potholes have always been a major problem for commuters in India. According to data compiled by the ministry of road transport and highways, 10,876 people were killed due to potholes in 2015 and around 11,106 deaths were caused in 2014.

In a case of extreme apathy, a man was booked by Manipal Police for the death of his 18-month-old child due to a pothole.The man Umesh Poojary was booked for rash and negligent driving and causing his baby’s death, reports TheNewsMinute.

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On 2nd October, the baby, Chirag was sitting on his mother’s lap with his father Umesh Poojary driving the bike on Udupi-Karkala Highway which is full of potholes. When Umesh suddenly came across a giant pothole he tried to deviate away from it which resulted in the baby being falling off his mother’s lap. At the time of the incident, the couple was wearing the helmets also.

The baby died after suffering head injuries while the parents also sustained minor injuries.
The incident which can be clearly seen as a result of negligence on the part of authorities triggered protests from locals.However, according to the latest update in the case, 6 days after the accident, the baby’s father has been booked by the police under IPC Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering the life of others) and 304 A (causing death by negligence).

Umesh’s brother-in-law Krishna alleged that he was called to the police station on the pretext of completing the formalities where he was ‘guided’ to file a complaint against Umesh instead.

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“On October 2, I went to the Manipal Police Station to file a complaint and complete the formalities. I was shocked and I did not pay much attention. I explained what happened and that the road was filled with potholes. The staff in the police station wrote the letter for me and told me to sign it. I did not realize that the complaint was framed in such a way that it framed Umesh,” Krishna told to TheNewsMinute.

TNIE reports that 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.

He also told that they are receiving complaints from various residents and activists saying that the Parkala accident was due to the ignorance of safety measures by the NHAI officials.He added that proper questioning will be done and action will be taken against the guilty officers or engineers if found guilty, after which the father will be set free.

It is quite ironical that under sections 279 and 337 of IPC which makes rash driving a punishable offense accident victims are often booked even when the accident is caused by the potholes and bad condition of roads. We hope that the inquiry will be done properly and the guilty officials would be punished instead of the baby’s father.

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