Three students of Mount Carmel College were injured when a car driven by a college lecturer knocked them down at the entrance of the college on Wednesday.
Ragi Saggere, Shreya and Anupama were getting into college around 8.20 a.m. when Charmaine Jerome, a chemistry lecturer for degree students and a student development officer, hit the trio as she drove into campus.
The students were rushed to Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital by a parent.
While Shreya and Ragi are pre-university students, Anupama is a first year BBM student.
Calling the teacher “irresponsible”, Ragi’s father, Saggere Ramaswamy, said, “The teacher had a learner’s licence and yet she came to college at 8.20 a.m. (10 minutes before classes start), when it is peak hour and students rush to college. She should have been more careful.”
Mr. Ramaswamy is upset that his daughter, a Bharatanatyam dancer, may have to give up on her dreams of taking up a dance exam, at least for now. “My daughter now has multiple fractures in her right leg…She was preparing for her junior Bharatanatyam exam, which is in two months.”
Ragi, who was later shifted to Baptist hospital, said, “I saw a car speeding and before I could move, I saw the front wheel on my leg.” She added that college authorities had instructed them not to file a police complaint or talk to the media.
Shreya was discharged after being treated for minor injuries; Anupama is undergoing treatment at Mahaveer Jain Hospital.
A student, who wished to remain anonymous, said someone called out a warning to the girls, but they did not have time to avoid the car. “One of the girls was almost sandwiched between the car and the wall on the other side, while the other two were knocked down,” she said.
The police suspect the teacher lost control of the vehicle and may have stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake.
The High Grounds traffic police have booked a case under sections 337 IPC (causing hurt by any act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 279 IPC (rash and negligent driving) against the lecturer.
Aid to injured
Principal of Mount Carmel College Sister Juanita said: “The accident happened near the college entrance where there is usually a lot of traffic. The lecturer froze when the accident happened. It is not because of negligence, but purely an accident. The college will provide financial aid to the students if necessary, on compassionate grounds.”