A two-year-old boy died yesterday after he fell into a trench that was dug up by the officials of the forest department in Kannamwar Nagar at Vikhroli (East).

Jayesh Uday Mohite, a resident of Bheem Chhaya area in Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli, had gone out to play in the morning. When he didn't return in the evening, realising something was amiss, his aunt started searching for the toddler.

Victim: Jayesh Uday Mohite was rushed to a nearby hospital but was
declared dead on arrival. Pic/Siddharth Dhadve

Her search ended in shock when she found him lying at the bottom of the pit. They rushed him to Mahatma Phule Hospital in Ghatkopar, where he was declared dead on arrival. Residents of the area allege that it was the fault of the officials at the forest department that Mohite had died.

"They should have covered the trench and barricaded the land if they didn't want us on the land. We want the police to register an FIR against the people who are responsible for the death of the boy or else we will not claim the body of the boy," said a resident on the condition of anonymity.

However, authorities from the forest department claim that they were planning to grow mangroves in the trench.

Explaining the trench, Ravindra Javkar, senior inspector, Vikhroli police station said, "Officials from the BMC had carried out demolition work several times to avoid the hutments, but unable to do so, they handed over the land to the forest department. They then dug the trench in order to plant mangrove saplings as the land is situated near the creek. As water entered the ground, it became marshy and unfortunately the boy fell in and died."