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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Airhostess death: Hunt on for auto driver

Shahkar Abidi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 22, 2009
First Published: 01:15 IST(22/8/2009) | Last Updated: 01:16 IST(22/8/2009)
The Goregaon (East) police have launched a manhunt to trace the auto rickshaw driver from whose vehicle 22-year-old airhostess Medha Shinde allegedly fell and died on Tuesday night.

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The police are considering the driver of the vehicle as the prime witness in the case and are relying on him to shed light on the events that led to Shinde’s death. The victim’s friends did not get a chance to note the vehicle’s registration number.

“The autorickshaw driver disappeared after dropping the three friends at the hospital,” said Police Sub-Inspector Arun Khopkar of Goregaon (East) police station.

Khopkar said that once the driver is traced the case will be solved. “He will be able to tell us what happened — whether she was pushed or she fell,” Khopkar said. Shinde, an airhostess with a private airline, had gone to meet her friends Abhishek Balakrishnan and his girlfriend Ashley Anthony near a Malad mall on Thursday evening.

The police said that the trio then sat in the autorickshaw and took the Western Express Highway towards Shinde’s home in Jogeshwari.

According to statements given by her friends to the police, Medha was talking over the phone when she suddenly fell off the auto near the Aarey Milk Colony flyover. This was around 11:30 pm.

“Shinde sustained serious head injuries,” said the officer investigating the case on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Abhishek and Ashley then took Shinde to a nearby hospital in the same auto. She succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. The deceased’s parents have told the police that they suspect foul play. They alleged that their daughter was in trauma after Abhishek who used to work in the same organisation refused to marry her.


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