NEW DELHI: It has been two weeks since Arati’s 7-year-old daughter was hit by an Innova just outside a shelter for the homeless in south Delhi where they live. But while Shivani undergoes multiple surgeries on her leg, Arati is still struggling to get justice.
Despite giving the number of the car to the police, there has been no action, she says. Her days are spent between the local police chowki and the hospital.
“I have been to the police station thrice, they always tell us they are trying. I have made three complaints about it to the police. But no one has even gone to see my daughter in hospital, or come to my house,” Arati told NDTV.
To check on the progress of the investigation, went with Arati to the local police station where the case is registered.
“Only the last four digits of the car have been provided,” a policeman is heard telling Arati – a charge she quickly counters, presenting the complete vehicle number.
Despite evidence to the contrary, the First Information Report or FIR says there were no witnesses.
“I was present that day, a PCR came and we gave them car number. But no one came from the police station to take my statement,” said Tannu, a witness.
Mahesh Kumar was was hit by a four-wheeler in Chandni Chowk. The accident fractured his leg.
According to police records, Delhi has seen 933 fatal accidents this year. Less than half of them have led to arrests.
But for people left to fend for themselves on capital’s streets, the figures would be far more disheartening. Even getting an FIR registered proves to be a challenge.
31-year-old Mahesh Kumar from Bulandshahr has been working in Delhi for the last eight years. On August 11, he was hit by a four-wheeler in Chandni Chowk. The accident fractured his leg.
“I went to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital where the health officials and policemen turned me away. I was told to go to the OPD which was shut because it was a weekend,” Mr Kumar said.
Unofficial reports suggest there are about 1.5 lakh homeless people in Delhi. Police deny there is any discrimination when it comes to hit-and-run incidents.
“There are always two situations in any accident, where the number of the car is noted, and where it isn’t. Obviously if we get a car number, the accused is traced,” Taj Hassan, a senior police officer, said.