The wails of a traumatised three-year-old startled locals and people passing by Station Road, Ambernath on Saturday. The child was weeping and howling for help after he had been left alone inside a locked car for two hours with no food or water. Only after gruelling efforts and much panic, fire brigade officials broke into the car and rescued him before he fell unconscious.
The nerve-racking incident occurred near Paranjape Complex, Station Road, Ambernath (West). In the middle of the afternoon, a few people walking by heard the sobs of a child emerging from the car. Curious, they went closer to inspect and noticed that a three-year-old boy was weeping, asking to be removed from the car.
Help is on the way
Soon, crowds surrounded the car and attempted to help the child out of the car. Some of them tried to open the window of the car but to no avail. After many failed attempts, one of the locals at the spot called the police and the fire brigade.
“We thought the child might be kidnapped and were afraid it might be some bad news. So, one of my colleagues called the emergency police and fire brigade helpline,” said Yusuf Shaikh, an eyewitness.
Soon, fire brigade officials -- Rajan Koli, Jaiwant Gaikwad and Ajay Gosavi -- rushed to the spot. At first, even the authorities were trying to figure out a way to open the window of the car. After two hours in the heat, amid wails of the child, the officials smashed the window and rescued the child around 5.30 pm.
Fire brigade officials then handed over the boy to constable Machhindra Hajare, who gave him some water to drink and then took him to the police station. Later, the child revealed his name to be Hemant Chavan.
Speaking of incident, Hajare said, “The child’s condition was very bad. He was finding it difficult to breathe.”
Later, Hemant’s parents Rupali and Govind Chavan, residents of Kansai gaon, Ambernath, appeared at the police station. Trying to explain the series of events that occurred, Rupali said that she had gone to the doctor and left her son with the driver, Vikas Raut. When officials questioned Raut, he said that he had gone for a quick bite while Rupali visited the doctor and locked Hemant in the car. Surprisingly, the police allowed the parents to take the child without taking any action.
They simply warned the parents and let them go. “The fire brigade officials rescued the child. We did not take any action, as this is a very normal incident. Very often people leave their children in cars. The mother had left her sleeping child in the back seat of the car and gone to a medical clinic,” said Prakash Patil, senior
inspector, Ambernath police station.
Locals present at the spot were shocked that no action was taken. One of them told MiD DAY, “At the least, the driver should be booked for negligence.”