Suraj Singh, the father of 3-year-old Divyansh Singh who remains untraceable after falling into an open gutter on Wednesday night, demanded a police case against BMC officials for causing death due to negligence.
Addressing the media outside his home at Ambedkar Chowk in Malad (east), Singh said he believed in miracles. “I still hope my child is alive and safe even though 50 hours have passed.”
Singh distributed pamphlets carrying details of his missing son, as authorities continued to press drones and other means to look for Divyansh. The distraught father said he had given his statement to the police and wanted action against civic officials.
“I want BMC officials to be charged under section 304A (death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. Action should be taken against them and even the Mumbai Mayor should resign,” he said. Singh said that he had no idea when the Mayor arrived in the area and left.
In a chilling CCTV footage that emerged after the accident, Divyansh is seen wandering near an electric box around 10.20 pm on Wednesday and then suddenly disappearing. It is believed the child could not see the uncovered drain and slipped into it due to darkness.
The corporation has drawn severe flak for this mishap, particularly after the death of Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, an eminent doctor, in an open manhole in 2017. Despite its claims, it has installed safety nets on just 1% of the 3.6 lakh in city limits. In the first year, before the onset of monsoon in 2018, safety nets were fixed in 1,425 manholes.
“BMC fixed the nets in the low lying areas in the south island city in the first year. In the second year, we included 1,311 manholes, mostly from the low-lying area of suburbs,” said a senior officer from the BMC. He added, “We can’t order all the nets in the first year as it was on a pilot basis. It will be increased in phases and as per the demand from ward offices.”
Senior BMC officials have promised action against those guilty.