Several vehicles including bikes, cars, autorickshaws and even a private bus pass by an old woman lying face down on the middle of the road. The 65-year-old woman Phelomena, was hit by three bike-borne men in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram district. Even as Phelomena lay on the road, with her bag and small bowl lying next to her, passersby slowed down their vehicles when they saw the woman, but no one came forward to help her.
In CCTV visuals of the accident, three bike-borne men can be seen hitting Phelomena and riding away, without stopping. Another bike-borne man who comes from the opposite direction at the same time and purportedly saw the accident, stops to look at the victim, before riding away. In the minutes that followed, several other vehicles pass by her and do the same.
In the 4.34 minute visual of the accident, a few people can be seen walking closer to the woman, seemingly to check on her. Phelomena can be seen occasionally making an effort to get up, but in vain. It was not before a good few minutes later, that more people gather around Phelomena and decide to get her help.
The locals can be seen stopping an autorickshaw and helping her get inside the vehicle. At this point, a police jeep reaches the spot.
According to Kadakkavoor police, the accident happened in Machathumukku on Tuesday afternoon. Phelomena, who was initially admitted to the Medical College hospital, has been shifted to a hospital in Chirayankeezhu.
Police said that the locals informed the police about the woman lying on the road.
"One of our vehicles was patrolling in that area at the time and rushed to the spot," the SI said.
While the incident once again raises questions about public apathy, the reason many bystanders fail to intervene is because a number of people, who were found lying on the road, were drunk.
The police have taken a youth, who was riding the bike, into custody. The police have, however, not recorded his arrest. According to the police, he did not know the other know men who were with him on the bike.
"He said he had given a lift to the other two men and does not know who they are. We will charge him under section 337 and 338, for endangering the life of a person," the police said.