Suspected of carrying the Covid-19 infection, a 19-year-old woman from Delhi’s Patparganj area died last month after allegedly getting thrown off a bus in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district.
The victim was identified as Anshika. Her family said that on June 15 she fainted because of heat and exhaustion while traveling with her mother on a roadways bus from Noida to Shikohabad in Firozabad district. The driver and the conductor suspected her of being Covid-19 positive, and following an argument threw her off the bus close to a toll plaza, the family alleged. According to them, Anshika suffered cardiac arrest at some point during the scuffle, and died.
However, the police in Mathura claimed that the victim was dropped off like a normal passenger, and there was no evidence of any scuffle.
“The victim’s family had approached the police station and we got a post-mortem conducted at the District Hospital. The cause of death came to be a heart attack, which is a natural cause. Therefore, it did not merit any FIR or action. There was a coronavirus scare since she was unwell but the driver dropped her near a toll plaza so she could hail another transport,” said Mant Station House officer Bhim Singh.
Anshika’s father Sushil Kumar, who works as a security guard in Patparganj, said the family had decided to send Anshika and her mother to Shikohabad, their hometown, to keep them safe amid a rising number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital.
On June 15, Anshika and Sarvesh Devi boarded the UP roadways bus from Noida’s Sector 37 around 2 pm. Around 4.20 pm, the 10-year-old’s brother Shiv received a call informing him that his sister had died.
“She was absolutely fine when she boarded the bus. She had no symptom, and only had an issue of kidney stones which had developed earlier. We felt it was better for them to stay at home. At some point of the journey, due to heat and exhaustion, she fainted. The entire bus behaved as if she had Covid-19, and the driver and conductor began harassing her and threatening to throw her out. Near Mathura toll plaza, they wrapped her in a blanket and physically threw her out of the bus,” said Shiv.
The family said the bus employees refused to listen to reason. “She could not bear the shock of being treated in such a manner and she had a heart attack. I went to file an FIR but they said it is a natural cause of death. But the fact remains that the heart attack was caused by the behaviour of the staff. If you throw someone out of a bus on the suspicion of Covid-19 it is bound to affect them,” Shiv said.
A doctor said the autopsy report showed that Anshika had an enlarged heart, which can lead to cardiac arrest in young people.
“At this point, we just want an FIR so that the persons responsible for this are held. She was the only daughter in the family and this injustice is intolerable,” Shiv added.
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