Crushed under a car, two-year-old Kala struggled for dignity in death too. After his autopsy at the district hospital in UP’s Baghpat on Saturday, the family could not get a hearse van despite requests, so his father and brother carried the body in their arms. They got the van as locals started making videos and the authorities were alerted.
The videos have since gone viral, particularly of Kala’s 10-year-old elder brother carrying his body. The father, Praveen Kumar, a daily wager in Baghpat, did not have Rs 1,000 to hire for a vehicle to the family village, Lilonkhedi in Shamli district, about 50 km away.
The two-year-old had died on Friday — run over by a car near a bank in Baghpat, on the Delhi-Saharanpur highway — after his stepmother, Sita, pushed him away as she was irritated by his incessant crying, according to the police. She was arrested from the spot — she pleaded she did not intend to harm him — and the child’s body sent for post-mortem examination.
At the hospital the next day, Praveen Kumar and his son Sagar were accompanied by a relative, Rampal, who said they repeatedly requested for any vehicle to carry the body. “The officials didn’t pay any heed,” he said. “It was late,” said Praveen Kumar, “So, we picked up the body and left.” In shock and crying, he got tired after a few metres, and handed the body over to son Sagar. Rampal helped too.
People started recording videos, after which the authorities arranged a vehicle.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Dinesh Kumar later said, “We’d asked them to wait a bit for the hearse van to arrive. But they were distraught, and left immediately. We will look into why the van was delayed at all.”