Rasool Mahommad Khan, 43, one of the three people who drowned when a boat carrying eight capsized in Powai Lake on Friday night, was a member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and a businessman involved in boat-making.
A former resident of Powai, he knew the owner of the houseboat they had been partying on, and had in fact organised the party and invited the seven others including his nephew Aatif, 22, and fellow NCP member Dinesh Bhoir, 24, the two others who drowned.
“Khan used to live in Powai only recently shifted to Ghatkopar. He knew the owner of the houseboat well, so he contacted him and had invited seven other people for a party,” said an officer at Powai police station, who did not wish to be named.
“We are checking who gave them permission for a party on a houseboat as the lake is full of crocodiles,” added the police officer.
The police said Bhoir was in construction and had good relations with civic officials and bureaucrats in the eastern suburbs.
“Bhoir had close tied to a well-known politician from the eastern suburbs. The politician was present at the spot till Bhoir’s body was fished out from the lake,” the Powai police officer added.
A police officer said the small boat carrying the eight capsized about 150 meters from the coast after Khan, Aatif, Bhoir, Paresh Pancholi, 34, Kunal Balchandra Patil, 35, and Abu Bihari Mandall, 21, had picked up two other friends from the shore and were returning to the houseboat.
Pancholi, Patil and Mandall managed to swim to safety, while the two friends whom they had just picked up – Deepak Patil, 24, and Nagesh Madhukar Patil, 46 – were rescued by lifeguards.