Mumbai: 10-yr-old jumps into school pool to steal a swim, drowns

The boy had entered the premises of Ajmera Global School in Borivli on Saturday evening to fetch a cricket ball; there was no security guard at the spot when he jumped into the 5-ft deep pool

The lure of unguarded waters proved costly for a young boy, who allegedly drowned in the swimming pool of a Borivli school on Saturday after jumping in it to take a swim. The 10-year-old had sneaked into the premises along with his friends to fetch a cricket ball, and police have registered a case against the school authorities and the watchman.

(Inset) Sahil Bhandari’s father said his son didn’t know how to swim and that a watchman should’ve been there near the pool
(Inset) Sahil Bhandari’s father said his son didn’t know how to swim and that a watchman should’ve been there near the pool

The deceased has been identified as Sahil Bhandari, who studied in Std IV in Vijay Nagar School in Borivli. According to the MHB police, the incident occurred around 6 pm on Saturday, when Sahil was playing cricket with his friends at a ground adjacent to Ajmera Global School in Borivli (West). When the ball went inside the school compound, Sahil and his friends went to fetch it.

According to the FIR registered, some children, including Sahil and his friend Vishal, have been captured by CCTV cameras on the premises jumping over the school fence and loitering near the pool. Sahil is seen jumping into the water and then struggling to stay afloat, while Vishal is seen frantically trying to rescue him.

Unable to pull out Sahil from the water, the children rushed out and got help from people at the ground to rescue him. Sahil was immediately rushed to Shatabdi Hospital at Kandivli (West), where he was declared dead on arrival. Laxman Bhandari, Sahil’s father, told this paper, “We got to know of the incident an hour after it happened.

There was no one around to save him. There should have at least been a watchman near the pool.” Laxman is an auto rickshaw driver and said Sahil didn’t know how to swim. MHB police have registered a first information report (FIR) against the school authorities and the watchman of the pool, Ajay Madhukar Pawar, who was not present at the spot at that time.

“We have booked them under Sections 304A (death by negligence) and 290 (public nuisances in cases not otherwise provided for) of the Indian Penal Code,” said Sudhakar Kamble, inspector, MHB police. Kamble added that the school has agreed there was no security on the spot and had also submitted CCTV footage for further investigation.

(Inputs by Shirish Vaktania)

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