Photo Credit: BL Soni
Photo Credit: BL Soni

Mumbai: Two days after the three-year-old Divyansh Singh, disappeared after falling into a gutter, his father Suraj has lost all hopes of getting back his child. Even after 40 hours of search operations, the team have failed to find the child. The boy’s father had staged a sit-in at Ambedkar Chowk, Goregaon-Mulund Link Road on Friday. He highlighted the gross negligence of the BMC in failing to cover the gutter into which his son fell on Wednesday night.

Divyansh has been untraceable since then. However, not only did police prevent Suraj from protesting, they also called him and Divyansh’s mother to the police station to record their statements for kidnapping of minor. While speaking to the media, Suraj said, “It has been over 40 hours and I don’t think my son is alive. However, it is time the administration awakened to ensure such incidents do not occur in future and no one is forced to undergo such an ordeal.”

Suraj has sought the resignation of Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar. “The mayor has to resign and a case has to be registered against the BMC officials under section 304A (Causing death by negligence) as per the Indian Penal Code,” said Suraj. Locals are still in shock, with most of them finding it difficult to believe such an incident could occur in Mumbai. “We were sitting here and we saw this child’s mother and other family members running in search of him. When we went through CCTV footage to help them, we saw that the boy had fallen in the gutter. After seeing the CCTV footage, 25-30 people ran and jumped inside the gutter to find the child. But we could not locate him,” said a garage owner.

Neighbours said they are trying their best to give strength to Divyansh’s mother. “Not just his family, we are all disturbed by just thinking how much the child would have suffered. We have lost all hopes. We pray the parents get the body, so that they can carry out the last rites,” said another neighbour. So far, the BMC, the National Disaster Response Force and fire brigade teams have twice searched the 10 kilometres of drainage lines. Officials have also opened all the manholes in the drainage lines and are trying to locate the child, using ladders at various spots. A drone was also brought in by officials but they could not launch it due to the heavy force of water and narrow drainage system. However, officials continue to be hopeful.

The BMC has also tweeted, asking for help to locate the child. “In a very unfortunate incident, a child has fallen in the drain at Goregaon. 50 people from our team are a part of the ongoing rescue operations with the NDRF and we request residents to immediately report to us if they spot such open drains on 1916, ward control room numbers or twitter,” BMC tweeted on its handle, mybmc. Earlier, on July 11, BMC had tweeted, “Early enquiry reports have revealed that the cover of the drain was removed by certain individuals. CCTV footage is being checked & investigated to trace the concerned people.”

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