Life seems to have little or no value in the city, and youngsters on high-powered motorcycles have been doing their bit to add to the number of deaths on the roads. Three college students threw caution to the wind and were racing each other on the busy Andheri Sahar road on Sunday evening when one of them hit a woman pedestrian, who was eight months pregnant, killing her and her stillborn on the spot.
Sabira Khan, a 32-year-old mother of three, was crossing the road when the biker hit her. The bike dragged her for a distance before she fell to the ground.
According to some residents of the area, they had warned Kunjan Ghorpade (19), Savio Fertado (19) and a 17-year-old boy earlier in the day against racing, as they had been at it since the afternoon. All three students have been arrested.
The stretch from Bandra to Andheri witnesses maximum number of bike accidents and groups racing, and sometimes even bike thieves are known to make their high-speed getaways through the tract.
MiD DAY had on December 31 last year published an article (Unveiled: The shadowy world of super-speed highway bike racers) on the issue. The traffic police have been facing difficulties in nabbing speedsters, as these individuals push the limits and put their lives as well as the lives of others at risk as they zigzag through traffic. Many policemen have been injured in biker-related incidents in the recent past.
Sabira was living with her three children and husband Sabir at Kabir Nagar on Andheri Sahar road in Vile Parle (East) and her baby was due in 15 days. Sabir runs a motor driving school in the locality and was at his workplace on the fateful day. Around 7 pm on Sunday, Sabira went to the shop to get wheat flour.
She was on the road divider when she was hit and dragged by the bike Ghorpade was riding. She got stuck on the bike’s petrol tank and was dragged for over 10 feet. She was then thrown on the road and died on the spot. She was rushed to Cooper Hospital in an auto rickshaw, but was declared dead on arrival. According to hospital report given to the police, the baby did not survive. Ghorpade was arrested from the spot, and Savio and the minor were arrested later.
Sabira’s brother Imran Khan said, “The whole family is devastated. It is not only murder, but double murder. Those bike racers should be severely punished for such a heinous crime. We had warned them earlier, but they paid no heed and continued racing.”
Another local said that the Andheri Sahar road is very busy and does not have a single speed breaker on the stretch.
Senior Inspector Shashikant Talegaonkar of the Vile Parle police station said, “All the three accused, of which one is a minor, were arrested under sections 304(B), 279 and 336 of the Indian Penal Code. They have also been charged under section 189 of the Mumbai Police Act. They were presented in the Andheri magistrate court on Monday.”