'Father’s death was murder, not an accident': daughter of taxi driver killed in Mumbai accident

  • Vijay Kumar Yadav, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 11, 2015 22:17 IST

The daughter of taxi driver Mohammed Sayyed, one of two men who died in Tuesday night’s drink driving crash on the Eastern Freeway, said her father’s death was murder, not an accident.

Sayyed, 57, and his passenger Salim Sabuwala, 50, were killed when advocate Janhavi Gadkar, 35, driving down the wrong side of the freeway, crashed her Audi Q3 into their taxi around 1 am on Tuesday. Sabuwala’s wife, two daughters and son, who were sitting the back of the cab, were badly injured.

“We call something an accident when it is done by mistake, but [Gadkar] didn’t do this [drink and drive] by mistake. She is a lawyer and was well aware of the consequences of her actions, so how can it be an accident? It is murder,” said Nilofar, 30, who has been living in Essex, England, for the past eight years. She arrived in Mumbai with her husband Shafi, 33, on Wednesday morning, after relatives informed her of her father’s death.

“What an ignorant person [Gadkar] is. She is well-educated and knows what can happen if she drinks and drives. She knows what will happen if she drives on the wrong side of the road. And on top of everything, she thought she could just throw money at the problem and make it disappear. This is absolutely ridiculous. She should be given a severe sentence. If she doesn’t face the consequences of her actions, she will remain as ignorant as she was before the incident,” she added.

Nilofar, whose father had been a taxi driver for over 30 years, said, “He never had any accidents. He had many years of experience and had also worked in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Now, I am worried for my mother Zaibunissa, who is 50 and has no one to look after her. She has high blood pressure. I am worried about her future.”

Nilofar also said that she met minority affairs minister Eknath Khadse, who told her he would try to secure financial aid for her mother from the government.

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