Defecating in the open proves fatal for tiny tot

The 3-yr-old girl was sitting a few feet away from the front wheel of a parked school bus when the driver of the bus, unaware of her presence, started the bus and mowed her down

A three-year-old girl was crushed to death by a private school bus while she was answering nature's call in the vicinity of her home in Ambedkar Nagar, Ghatkopar at around 8 am yesterday.

Gone too soon: 3-yr-old Tanuja was answering nature's call on the road
close to her hutment when the tragedy occurred, police have booked the
driver for negligent driving.
Pics/Siddharth Dhadve

Following the tragic incident, Tilak Nagar police have registered a case against the driver and an inquiry has been initiated against a doctor from Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar at the behest of the girl's parents and locals who alleged that the girl lay unattended for two hours, before she breathed her last.

"We have arrested the diver under IPC section 279 (rash driving) and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). He was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of accident. We are also inquiring if there was negligence from the doctor's side," said R M Gavit, senior police inspector at Tilak Nagar police station.

The youngster Tanuja Kapure had only a week back arrived in the city from Nanded with her parents, who are daily wage labourers, and had enrolled in a playschool. "My wife and I were getting ready to go to work when our daughter informed us that she is going to the toilet," said Baban, father of the girl.

According to the cops, the girl went a few metres away from her slum and sat down in the front of the left side front wheel (passenger side) of the bus to relieve herself. Soon the driver Mani Baliya Watan (44) entered the bus, which plies privately for RN Gandhi School, and started the engine. As it moved forward the tot came under the front wheel and got trampled. Only after the driver heard the girl's screams, he realised something was amiss and halted the bus.

Onlookers quickly rushed to spot to free the child from under the wheels. "Minutes later the neighbours informed me of the tragedy. Losing our child has devastated our lives," said Baban, who lost his only child.

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