Holi Turns Unholy for Youth - Toxic Balloon Partially Blurs Vision

Poornima Swaminathan and Dayanand Kamath/DNA India

Mumbai, Mar 21: A 22-year-old youth suffered partial vision loss in his right eye after a plastic bag filled with water and hazardous chemicals was hurled at him.

Puneet Kadam was heading toward Dadar in a local train on Tuesday night when the incident occurred between Matunga Road and Dadar, said police.

“I could not see anything and there was an unbearable burning sensation in my eyes,” said Puneet, adding that despite his cries for help, no one came forward.

Puneet, who had quit his job as a clerk with an Andheri-based firm, had gone to inquire
about his Provident Fund money. He boarded a fast train from Andheri. “My sister called me when I reached Bandra. I went to the door to talk to her. Suddenly, a balloon came flying and hit me,” he said. 

Puneet was rushed to KEM hospital where he received first aid. Doctors attending on him said it would be four to five days before they could assess if the damage to his eye was permanent.

The Mumbai Central railway police have arrested an unemployed teenager, who lives on the pavements outside Matunga Road railway station, for the crime.

“We have booked Imran alias Macchikari Idris Shaikh for causing grievous hurt and maliciously hurting or attempting to hurt a person,” said senior police inspector, Mumbai Central Railway Police, Bharat Kumar Rane. Shaikh was produced before the holiday metropolitan court which remanded him to judicial custody till March 25.

Meanwhile, the incident has left the Kadam family, which lives in a one-room apartment in a BDD Chawl at Worli, crippled. Puneet was the eldest son and the sole earning member. “Who will fend for my family? I have two siblings and a mother to look after,” cried Puneet.

Patrolling beefed up

Police patrolling has been intensified along the railway tracks to prevent railway commuters from being targeted during Holi.

“More police personnel have been deployed in the slum colonies where the railway tracks are close to slums,” said railway police commissioner Ashok Kumar Sharma. In case you’re in trouble, call the police control room on 22620111.


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Title: Holi Turns Unholy for Youth - Toxic Balloon Partially Blurs Vision

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