A nine-year-old boy died after falling into an open pit in a DDA park, in outer Delhi’s Vijay Vihar area Tuesday evening.
Police said the incident took place around 4 am, when the boy — identified as Abdul Khalid, a Class V student — was playing cricket along with his friends. Family members blamed the DDA for leaving the pit unfenced and unsupervised.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer) Rishi Pal said a case has been registered under Section 304A of the IPC, based on the father’s statement. “A post-mortem was conducted and the body handed over to the family. Apparent cause of death appears to be drowning,” he said. A senior DDA official told The Indian Express that it was “a compost pit dug up to bury dried leaves”. “The pit is covered after dried leaves are filled in. In this case, it might have been left open due to the rain. But, we will look into the matter,” the official said, adding that the DDA takes all precautions on its properties to prevent untoward incidents.
The child’s maternal uncle, Mohammad Mumtaz, said, “Khalid would got home by 7 pm. When he didn’t come home on Tuesday, we started looking for him. We asked his friends if they had seen him anywhere. Initially, they were scared. They later told us that Khalid had fallen into a pit filled with rain water.”
Police said the family rushed to the spot and pulled Khalid out of the pit. They took him to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. According to police, after playing cricket, Khalid was trying to rinse his mud-splattered clothes in the pit when he slipped and fell inside.
“The 9-10-ft-deep pit had been dug for dumping leaves but was not covered. His friends saw him fall, but were too scared to inform anyone and returned home,” a police officer said.
Police said they were informed about the incident around 8 pm. They inspected the spot where the boy fell, and found that there was no signboard near the pit to indicate that the area was out of bounds.
On Wednesday, DDA officials installed a board and a makeshift fence around the pit.