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Barasat: A child, barely one-and-a-half-year-old, has died a tragic death after falling off an auto-rickshaw in which he was travelling with his mother. The auto-rickshaw was allegedly moving at a high speed.

The accident has occurred at Baranagar in the northern suburbs of Kolkata around 12 this noon. The deceased child has been identified as Rajdeep Sardar of Bidesh Nagar area of Baranagar.

Rajdeep and his mother Rinki Sardar had boarded the Tobin Road – Pramod Nagar auto-rickshaw. Rinki was returning home after shopping. The mother sat on a rear corner seat of the auto-rickshaw and her son stood in front of her, holding the steel rod that runs horizontally behind the driver’s seat.

According to Rinki, the auto-rickshaw was moving at a high speed and the driver suddenly applied the brake near Bibek More, making the child fall on the road.

“The rear wheel of the auto-rickshaw ran over my son. As I cried out a loud, the driver halted the auto-rickshaw but sped away as soon as I alighted,” the bereaved mother said.

Passers-by and the mother took the injured child to Baranagar State General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Local Trinamool councillor, who went to the hospital, termed it an unfortunate accident but claimed that the auto-rickshaw was not on a high speed.

“After dropping other passengers at the designated stop, the driver came to our party office and narrated what had happened. This is purely an unfortunate accident and the driver was not over-speeding,” the Trinamool councillor claimed.

Experts, however, have pointed out that unless there is a jerk when a vehicle is moving or a deliberate push, a passenger cannot fall off the vehicle. In this case, either it has to be a sudden application of the brake or the auto-rickshaw wheel getting into a crater that made the child fall.

Police have said that they were trying to ascertain the cause of the mishap but have not detained the driver as yet.