NEW DELHI -- The long and short of this tragedy is that people stood around taking videos of a man being charred to death in Pune, even as he cried out for help.
The Indian Express today reported that Popat Bansode, a 55-year-old cobbler, was burnt alive in a fire triggered by an electric transformer blast close to where he worked in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Instead of helping him, people took videos of him being burnt alive on their cellphones, and posted these on YouTube.
“Even though my partially disabled father shouted for help, nobody helped my father. There was a major traffic jam that compounded the problem. However, people were insensitive and just wanted to merely see my father burning as if it was some drama in progress," Somnath Bansode, the victim's son, told The Indian Express.
"They even took videos of the incident but nobody was humane enough to help douse the flames,” he said.
While shopkeepers said that it would have been impossible for locals to contain the fire, Akash Dhotre, a friend of Somnath, said that the flames could have been doused if somebody had got a bucket of water. "Look at this video, it clearly shows how insensitive people have become…they can record the incident on cellphones, but will do nothing to help a dying man," he told the newspaper.
Nirmala Bansode said nothing was left of her husband when she saw him. “There was nothing left of him…no face, no hands,” she told The Indian Express.
Bansode's family has refused the Rs.20,000 which the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. offered as immediate relief, The Indian Express reported.
“Is this the worth of a man’s life,” Somnath told the newspaper. “My father had been earning Rs 400 per day by putting in 12 hours every day. I have never seen him sitting at home idle," he said.