In yet another incident of public apathy, an 18 year old boy severely injured on Wednesday, died in hospital simply because no one rushed him to hospital but instead videotaped him dying and writhing in pain. The hospital was just a stone’s throw from the accident spot.
Around 8.40 am, Anwar Ali was cycling to the market area where he worked in a tiles shop when he collided with a state transport bus going to Hubballi from Hosapete, near the BEO’s office, Ashoka circle in Koppal district of Karnataka.
The bus ran over him and he sustained severe injuries. He pleaded to take him to a hospital but onlookers didn’t heed his appeal, reportedly fearing harassment by police and the hospital, said eyewitnesses who did not wish to be named.
In the incident caught on camera, the boy lay bleeding with an agonizing pain for about 25 minutes before he was rushed to the hospital. The video footage that has now gone viral shows the victim lying in a pool of blood crying for help; while, someone gives him water, called for an 108 ambulance and informed local police.
“I was shocked to find people recording the incident on their mobiles instead of shifting him to hospital. I offered him water and called for the 108 ambulance. When I sought help from an auto driver to shift him, he refused to do it. Police should educate people about the Supreme Court’s rules about helping accident victims,” said Sridhar (name changed), a degree student and eyewitness to the incident.
The ambulance arrived about 25 minutes later and shifted him to hospital. District surgeon at Koppal Dr Suresh Danaraddi, told TOI: “Anwar was brought to hospital around 9.15am in a serious condition, and our doctors tried their best to save his life, but in vain. His pelvis was crushed. He died of injuries and haemorrhagic shock around 1.20pm.”
Doctors said that he could have been saved by timely medical assistance. Ali’s brother Riaz said, “.. no one came to his help, they were making video and clicking pictures. If someone had cared, my brother could have been saved. More than 15 to 20 minutes were wasted there.”
Police have registered a case in this connection. Traffic inspector Ganesh C said, “We got information about the accident and rushed to the spot. Many people had surrounded the victim, but no one was ready to help him. We shifted him to the hospital in an ambulance. I request people to help accident victims.”
The incident has sent shock-waves across the state, especially after the Karnataka government passed the Good Samaritan Act that allows people to help the victims of accident without an legal hassles to deal with.
Dr. Danaraddi said, “People still fear harassment by police and hospitals if they shift any accident victim. We won’t harass any person who brings accident victims to hospital for treatment and we won’t include their names in medico-legal cases. There are also clear guidelines by the Supreme Court to encourage people to save accident victims. People needn’t fear action or harassment.”
District health officer, Koppal, Dr Ramakrishna said, “Anwar suffered multiple organ injuries. People need to be more sensitive to save victims. No one will be questioned or troubled if they do it.”
Anwar was the only bread-winner of his family which consists of two younger brothers, sister and their mother. His father died four years ago.
Local complained that the spot where the incident took place is an accident prone area and authorities haven’t taken action despite repeated incident.
Anwar’s neighbor Hussain Pasha said, “Police don’t regulate traffic properly in Koppal and that causes such accidents. People should stop taking video or photos of victims to upload them to Facebook or WhatsApp and instead help victims.”
Recently, in a similar accident, a 38-year-old police officer, deprived of timely medical help by onlookers, succumbed to injuries following an accident in Mysuru.