Mumbai: Parents of 8-yr-old hit-and-run victim desperate to find speeding auto driver

Sep 19, 2014, 11:22 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

Rishabh Shekhar Aachath was about to cross the road to board his school bus when a speeding auto knocked him down and left without even slowing down

An eight-year-old’s life has come to an abrupt halt after a speeding auto rickshaw knocked him down, right in front of his grandfather. The driver did not slow down even for a second and fled, leaving the knocked-down child on the road. The boy is recuperating after extensive surgery on his leg and cops have still not been able to identify or nab the auto driver.

Eight-year-old Rishabh Shekhar Aachath was knocked down by a speeding auto when he was on his way to board his school bus
Eight-year-old Rishabh Shekhar Aachath was knocked down by a speeding auto when he was on his way to board his school bus

The incident took place on September 9, when eight-year-old Rishabh Shekhar Aachath left his home early in the morning with his grandfather to board his school bus. Rishabh lives with his parents at Wallfort Towers in Amboli and his bus stop is right across the street.

“It was raining quite heavily that day when my father-in-law and Rishabh left the house around 7.25 am. They stood under our building waiting for the bus to come to the opposite side. When they saw the bus approaching, my son had barely put his left leg onto the road when a speeding auto knocked him down. What was even more inhuman was that the drive did not even bother to slow down for a second.

My father-in-law was in a state of shock as he could not even fathom what had happened in a few seconds,” recounted Vrishali, Rishabh’s mother. The boy’s grandfather took the child inside the building. Fortunately, Rishabh’s father, Shekhar, was heading for his morning jog just then and he took his son to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri (West), where his leg was immediately operated on.

Amboli police have registered a case against the unknown auto driver. However, it has been more than a week, and there have been no leads yet. “The school has been cooperative and is helping my son. He is in a lot of pain right now; he only sleeps for an hour at night before he gets up crying in pain. But he has been courageous throughout the episode. I have not been able to go to office for the last week,” added Vrishali.

Desperate to find the accused, Rishabh’s parents have been going to the police station almost every day. They have even located a CCTV camera overlooking the road at a bungalow, a few houses away from the accident spot. Amboli police is expected to get the footage from the camera soon.

“I am shocked by the cold-hearted attitude of the auto driver who could knock down a small child and not even stop to help. What kind of person does that? Luckily, my father-in-law was there, otherwise who would’ve helped him? The residential area of Amboli has small lanes and only a few days back the speed-breakers were removed. At least if the speed-breakers were in place, they would have discouraged the auto driver from speeding,” said Rishabh’s mother.

Parents also allege that the police are not doing enough to nab the accused. “I want the auto driver to be caught and ask him why he did not stop when he hit my child? What if it was his own child? I don’t know when Rishabh will be able to walk again,” she added. Rishabh turns nine on September 24. “He had planned a lot for his birthday, but, right now, I don’t know what we are going to do,” said his mother.

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