Four Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers were electrocuted while eleven were injured during a campaign rally for candidate Mahesh Salvi from ward no. 44 in Kalwa (East) on Sunday.
Arun Sonde, senior police inspector, Kalwa police station, said: “As the rally reached Shivaji Nagar, Annya Pahadi Rajput, who was swaying the party’s flag tied to a metal rod, accidentally touched a high-tension cable and received a shock. Three others who rushed to his rescue, too, got electrocuted.” In the frenzy that ensued, eleven others too got injured.
The four deceased — Ashok Pahadi Rajput, Ajay Pahadi Rajput, 18, Annya Pahadi Rajput, 22, and Pradeep Gupta, 21 — are residents of Shanti Nagar slums. While the hospital record shows that Ashok is a minor, the police maintained that he is 19 years old.
“None of them is a minor, Ashok is 19, Ajay 20, Annya 19 and Pradeep is 28,” said Sonde.
Ashok and Ajay are brothers while Annya is their distant cousin. They have two sisters, both married, while their parents stay in a village in Karnataka. The three made plastic garlands for a living. Gupta, who owned a grocery shop, has a two-year-old daughter, wife and parents.
On hearing the news, a mob gathered outside Kalwa hospital. Ashok’s aunt banged her head on the hospital walls on hearing about her nephews’ death. Saku and Sherni Rajput, Ashok’s sisters, said, “Our brothers weren’t holding the flag. They only tried to save Annya. They were not keen on attending the rally since it was Sunday. They would have been alive if they had stayed at home. ”
“We have registered an accidental death report. Based on the MSEDCL’s explanation and the post-mortem report, we will take further action,” said Sonde.
The injured who are recuperating at Pramila Hospital, Kalwa, are Satyabhama Kharat, 61, Krishna Pahadi Rajput, 20, Sandeep Londe, 20, Sachin Arothe, 25, Arun Rajput, 21, Salim Rajput, 16, Sajan Rajput, 21, Chilkhar Rajput, 25, Kaviraj Rajput, 50, Kaliram Rajput, 50.
Thane NCP president, Jitendra Awhad, said that the party will take the responsibility of the injured’s families. Ganesh Naik, guardian minister of Thane, declared a compensation of Rs2.5 lakh for the deceased and Rs25,000 for the injured.