A pall of gloom descended over Jaffar Baba Colony in Bandra (East) on Monday afternoon as the news of Ramesh Walunj’s body being found at Mahim-Dharavi creek spread.
Walunj, a driver by profession, had jumped into the sea near Bandra Fort on Saturday (January 9) to save three girls, who slipped into the water while clicking a selfie. While he saved two of them, he went missing while trying to save the third girl, who is still missing.
Locals from Mahim-Dharavi area noticed a body floating in the creek. They alerted the authorities and the police and fire brigade recovered the body that was stuck in mangroves. The body was sent to Sion Hospital for post-mortem.
Friends, relatives and well-wishers rushed to their residence to console Walunj’s wife, mother and other family members. Several people from the area were preparing to give a fitting funeral to Walunj, now a hero among the locals.
Hoardings with messages honouring Walunj’s brave act have been put up near Jaffar Colony. “Walunj did not care about his life and jumped into the sea to save the girls. He saved two girls and drowned while saving the third girl,” said a neighbor, who was making a garland for his funeral.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also visited the family to console them. Walunj was a worker of the party. He was popular in the area for helping people in need.
Meanwhile, Coast Guards search operations are still underway as one of the girls, Tarannum Ansari is still missing. The Indian Navy also joined in the search and its boat and divers conducted searches along with the Coast Guards.
Ansari’s relatives had arranged for a private boat to try and look for her.
The Coast Guards and the Navy have already widened the area of search as they believe she may have been swept away by the water current towards the Worli side of the sea.
Police officials have also alerted the police stations that have their boundaries along the sea