'Ran To Save Her, but...': Child of Delhi Woman Dragged to Death by Moving Metro

Reena, the sole breadwinner of the family after her husband died in 2014, is survived by her two young children.

5 min read
Hindi Female

At around 1 pm on a cold winter afternoon on 14 December, 11-year-old Hiten was telling his mother Reena about his day at school while holding her hand tight as they tried to board a crowded metro train in New Delhi's Inderlok station.

Nearly five minutes later, 35-year-old Reena's saree got caught in the door of the train. Just as the train began to move, she was dragged for 25 metres along the platform before she hit her head on a track access gate and landed on the tracks.

Two days after on 16 December, Reena, a vegetable vendor and resident of Nangloi in west Delhi succumbed to her injuries at the Safdarjung Hospital. She suffered severe head and chest injuries following the tragic incident.

"It all happened too quickly. One minute I was speaking to her, and the other I heard her screaming for help. I saw her get dragged and started running behind her to save her. I too screamed for help, but it was too late. I saw her hit her head and fall down. I was extremely scared and traumatised," Hiten, a class 6 student, told The Quint.

On Wednesday, 20 December, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) announced a compensation of Rs 15 Lakhs to the children.

While Delhi's Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot directed the DMRC to share a detailed report on the incident, The Quint spoke to Reena's family on the loss of their loved one.


What Happened on 14 December? 

Reena, the sole breadwinner of the family after her husband died in 2014, is survived by her 13-year-old daughter Ria and Hiten.

On 14 December, Reena and Hiten left their home at around 12:30 pm to travel to Meerut, their hometown, to attend the wedding of her nephew, Ria said.

They took the metro to reach a nearby bus stand, she added.

"I spoke to her (my mother) last on Thursday morning. She was extremely excited to go home and meet her relatives. She said she will be back in two days and asked me to take care of the house. But she never came back," a teary-eyed Ria told The Quint.
Reena, the sole breadwinner of the family after her husband died in 2014, is survived by her two young children.

Reena, the sole bread-winner of the family post her husband's death in 2014, was survived by her 13-year old daughter Ria and Hiten.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

According to police officials, Reena was trying to board a train’s general compartment at Inderlok Metro Station on the Red Line. While Reena managed to get inside the train, she lost Hiten and had to step out to find him, they said.

“Her saree got stuck in the door of the metro while tried stepping out to get Hiten inside. Following this, the train started moving and unfortunately, the woman was dragged for around 25 metres on the platform. She then collided with the platform track access gate."
Delhi Police Official told The Quint on the condition of anonymity

Hiten told The Quint that he began screaming for help as he saw his mother lying on the track with a pool of blood.

"Three to four people ran to help me. They carried my mother and placed her on the platform. I immediately called my bua (aunt) for help, and since the ambulance took time to come, we took my mother to a nearby hospital by rickshaw."

Reena's family however alleged that nearly three hospitals refused to treat her. "First we took her to Deepchand Bandhu Hospital, but they refused to take her in due to lack of a ventilator. Even Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and Lok Nayak hospital refused for similar reasons. She was finally shifted to Safdarjung Hospital," Reena's sister-in-law Sonu, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, said.

The Delhi Police has also registered a case under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, officials confirmed.

Metro trains are usually equipped with sensors that ensure that doors automatically open when there is "any form of obstruction."

When asked if the sensor failed to detect the cloth, DMRC sources told The Quint that "When there is an obstruction, a safety mechanism is activated. But cloth only thicker than 25 millimetres can be detected. In this case, victim's saree's was thinner and hence was not detectable."

The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety will hold an inquiry into the incident.

Reena, the sole breadwinner of the family after her husband died in 2014, is survived by her two young children.

Reena, Hiten and Ria used to reside in a small one-bedroom set in west Delhi's Nangloi. 

(Photo: Varsha Sriram/The Quint)

'We Are Orphans Now. Who Will Take Care of Us?': Victim's Children

Both Ria and Hiten sat in silence in the corner of their small one-bedroom house nestled in the streets of Nangloi. They have still not come to terms with their mother death, relatives told The Quint.

"She played the role of a mother and a father in our lives. She never made us feel like we lost our father. But now my brother and I have become orphans. What do we do? Where do we go? Who will take care of us?" a tear-eyed Ria asked.

Reena's sibling, Jyoti, said that her elder sister used to earn around Rs 400 or less a day. "Hiten's health has been bad for the last few months. To meet the medical expenses, she had taken on more jobs. She worked as a domestic help in the morning, sold vegetables in the afternoon, and made newspaper packets at night," Jyoti said.

Monika Sonkar, Reena's sister-in-law, said that she is worried about the children's future.

"We are all taking turns taking care of them. But none of us have the financial stability to take care of the children. They live in a rented house, and the rent is due in four days. Where will the children get money from? Who will take care of their future?"
Monika Sonkar to The Quint

Reena's kin have also sought a compensation from DMRC to finance the education and future of the children.

In a letter, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot requested the Delhi Metro to disclose their policy on compensation for accident victims.

Taking cognisance that the relatives of the children were hesitant to adopt them due to financial constraints, he told the DMRC, “It is essential that adequate financial help is extended to the children so that their educational and other requirements are met.”

Reena, the sole breadwinner of the family after her husband died in 2014, is survived by her two young children.

13-year-old Ria holding the photo of her mother Reena.

(Photo: Varsha Sriram/The Quint)

"All we want is for someone to take care of our housing and education. We need financial support. While no amount of money compensate for losing our mother, this can help us. My priority now is to take care of my younger brother. My mother always wanted us to study well. I will ensure he (Hiten) and I do that," Ria said.


In a statement released Wednesday, DMRC said that in addition to providing a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to Reena's children, the organisation will also take care of their educational expenses.

"A team of senior officials has been deputed by DMRC to look into the matter to facilitate all requirements quickly. The Hon’ble Minister for Housing And Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puriji has also directed that the lookafter and education of the children be ensured by the Delhi Metro management."
DMRC Executive Director (Corporate Communications) Anuj Dayal said.

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