Rumour about dumper killing toddler leads to chaos in Govandi, police resort to lathicharge
In a bizzare incident, a toddler’s death in Govandi on Tuesday evening led to massive chaos where police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse a mob of around 500 people that had gathered at the scene of the incident due to alleged rumours.
The incident took place when the one-year-three-month old toddler, identified as Alisha Shaikh, was travelling on the motorcycle of her uncle Azaj Sheikh (42) while being carried by her aunt Rizwana.
The couple, on their way to run some personal errands, were travelling on the Honda Unicorn bike (MH03 BB 2958) via the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road, when Azaj missed a speed breaker and applied brakes at the last minute.
The jerk caused his wife Rizwana to fall from the bike and the girl to slip out of her hands. A dumper, which was crossing the road at the same time, ended up hitting the toddler.
Some of the onlookers rushed the couple and Alisha to Sion hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Rizwana also suffered a fracture on her right hand.
Meanwhile, the locals who had gathered on the spot spread rumours about how the toddler was killed after being hit by the dumper. Within minutes, a mob of around 500 gathered at the spot and cornered the dumper.
The crowd staged protests demanding the driver’s arrest, with some resorting to stone pelting and beating him up. The situation quickly went out of control. Traffic on both sides was affected.
Even traffic officials, who first arrived at the scene, were manhandled while trying to disperse the crowd. Following which they called for backup and larger unit of Deonar police, along with DCP Shahaji Umap, arrived at the spot.
The police had to resort to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd. They also rushed the dumper driver to the hospital.
The couple later told the police that the dumper did not hit the bike and that the girl had slipped from Rizwana’s hand after she fell from the two-wheeler.
“The crowd was under the impression that the dumper had hit the bike and resulted in the girl’s death. But the parents confirmed that the dumper did not hit their bike. As a result, no FIR has been registered against the driver and he was allowed to leave,” senior police inspector Dattatray Shinde of Deonar police station told Local Press Co.
Police may file an FIR against the crowd for rioting.