Pune: Woman In Aundh Confronts Bikers On Footpath; Abused And Injured in Hit-and-Run Incident

Chatushrungi police station
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Aundh, 13th July 2023: A brave 45-year-old woman from Aundh took a stand against bikers riding on a footpath while she was walking her dog on University Road on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, she was subjected to verbal abuse and sustained injuries when she fell after being hit by one of the bikes.

According to the woman’s complaint to the police, she tripped when one of the bikes collided with her and got entangled with the leash in her hand, dragging her along for a brief period. The incident took place near Bal Kalyan Sanstha on University Road at around 9 am.

Disturbingly, the woman, identified as Vidya, expressed disappointment with the behavior of those present at the scene. Despite the incident occurring in a public space, none of the onlookers came forward to assist her. She lamented, “What is even worse is the way the people around us behaved. Vehicle users on and off the road supported the rash drivers. When I fell, nobody came to my aid.”

Vidya immediately dialed the police helpline [1091], but it took them 40 minutes to arrive at the scene. She subsequently filed a complaint with the Chatushrungi police, leading to the registration of a case under sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as sections 184 (dangerous driving) and 132 (1) (C) (duty of driver to stop in certain cases) of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Vidya provided the police with a video clip capturing the bikers on the footpath, and she also identified the registration number of the bike that hit her. Police are yet to arrest the accused.

Senior Inspector Balaji Pandhare of the Chatushrungi police stated that they are in the process of tracking down the bike owner using the registration number.

Pandhare refuted Vidya’s claim that the police arrived 40 minutes after the incident, stating that due to ongoing Metro rail work, traffic congestion often occurs, causing delays. He mentioned that two-wheeler riders frequently resort to using footpaths to avoid traffic in the Baner, Pashan, and Aundh areas.

According to Vidya’s account, she was walking her dog on the footpath when some two-wheeler riders began honking at her. She questioned, “Where was I supposed to walk if not on the footpath?” While some bikers returned to the road as she refused to give way, others hurled abuses at her.

Vidya recounted that one biker insisted on riding on the footpath, leading to a confrontation. “I stood my ground, but he deliberately rode his bike towards me, hitting my hand with the handlebar. Despite witnessing the collision, the biker continued riding ahead. I fell and was dragged for a few seconds as the leash got entangled with the bike. The biker also fell, but instead of apologizing, he became angry and demanded that I pick up his bike.”

She sustained bruises on one side of her body and immediately called the police, asking the biker to wait. However, he fled the scene. Vidya expressed further dismay at the behavior of the onlookers, who supported the bikers and hurled derogatory remarks at her. When her husband arrived after being called for assistance, another biker, accompanied by a female passenger, drove at them and hit her husband for refusing to move from the footpath.

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vijay Magar emphasized that driving on footpaths is illegal, and the police regularly take action against offenders. He also acknowledged the need to examine the design of roads and footpaths by the civic body, cautioning against converting narrow footpaths into excessively wide ones without expanding the carriageway, which could adversely impact vehicle traffic flow.

The incident highlights the ongoing issue of vehicles encroaching on footpaths and the importance of enforcing traffic regulations and creating a safe environment for pedestrians.