India's Bystander Syndrome: Karnataka Teen Left to Die As Public Watches, Takes Pictures After Accident

Anwar Ali was run over by a state-run bus while he was cycling to his workplace.

Koppal: In yet another incident of public apathy, an 18-year-old boy, Anwar Ali, succumbed to injuries following a road accident here as onlookers clicked pictures of the bleeding victim. In the incident, caught on camera, the boy lay bleeding in agony for about 25 minutes before he was rushed to a hospital nearby. The video footage, which also shows someone giving him water, has since gone viral. The incident occurred on Wednesday (February 1) morning when Ali was cycling to the market where he worked and was hit and run over by a state-run bus, the police said.

Ali was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance after nearly half-an-hour and reportedly succumbed to his injuries around 1:30 pm. His brother told PTI, “No one came to his help, they were making video and clicking pictures. If someone had cared, my brother could have been saved. More then 15 to 20 minutes were wasted there.”

The police have registered a case in this connection.

An eyewitness claimed that, “People at the spot were shocked and did not know how to help him as the victim was severely injured and was bleeding profusely.” Locals complain that the spot where the incident occurred is an accident prone area and the authorities have not done anything to make the area safer.

Recently, in a similar incident, a 38-year-old police officer, deprived of timely help from bystanders succumbed to injuries following an accident in Mysuru. Public apathy and voyeurism have been characteristic in incidents such as these. People are often afraid of getting implicated in legal cases, despite a Supreme Court ruling in March 2016 that set out guidelines to protect bystanders, or good samaritans, who help victims in need. Karnataka has the good samaritan law to protect those who provide aid to accident victims.

Despite the law, public apathy is a problem that continues to recur. In August 2016, a man who was hit by a tempo in Delhi was left bleeding and crying for help for more than 30 minutes and one bystander reportedly stole the dying man’s phone as well. In another incident, the Newsminute reported in March 2016 that three accident victims were also left to die.

Other than road accidents, public apathy in cases of sexual assault have also been prevalent as was evident from the December 16, 2012, rape case in Delhi, where the victim was left to die by the road. In another horrific incident, a girl in Guwahati was molested by a mob in 2012 while bystanders watched and recorded without helping her.

(with PTI inputs) 

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