Yet another case of hit-and-run was reported in Mumbai as a Mercedes car ran over five people on Thursday night at the Masjid Bhandar Mohammed Ali Road.
According to this IBNLive report, the incident took place post midnight when the victims were sleeping on the pavement. The report also said that four women and one child were among the five people who were injured in the incident.
Another NDTV report said that the white Mercedes drove over a pavement and crashed into a Toyota car. "Investigation is happening right know...However, we are not sure of the number of persons inside the car...It can be determined only after thorough investigation," the report quoted senior police officer Ashok Dhude as saying.
Dhude also confirmed that all the injured have been admitted to the JJ hospital.
ANI also reported that the police have arrested the driver of the Mercedes and a case has been registered at Pydhonie police station. The driver had earlier fled the spot after the accident.
This incident is not the first in which a car ran over people sleeping on the pavement in Mumbai.
Arguably the most infamous hit-and-run case in which pavement dwellers lost their lives not only in Mumbai but also in India is the 2002 hit-and-run case. On 28 September 2002, actor Salman Khan had allegedly rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser into American Express Bakery on Hill Road junction in Bandra. He had run over a group of persons who were sleeping in front of the bakery. One person was killed and four others were injured in the incident.
In December 2015, Bombay High Court overturned Salman Khan's conviction in the case, scrapping a lower court's sentence of five years in jail for running over a homeless man.
Another infamous hit-and-run case in which people sleeping on the road were killed was the Alistair Pereira case. In November 2006, Pereira lost control of his Toyota Corolla car on the Carter Road seafront and ran over a group of construction workers who were sleeping on the road. Seven people were killed and eight were injured. Perera was eventually sentenced to prison for three years.
With the alarming frequence of hit-and-run cases reported in Mumbai, perhaps it's time Mumbai Police took some effective measures to tackle this problem.
Of course, in December, Mumbai Police had launched a campaign to curb drunk driving. This involved nakabandis across Mumbai extending beyond 3 am on 25 December and 1 January. But maybe a campaign not just limited to the time during Christmas and New Year's is needed to prevent such incidents from taking place.