Sheila Kini, the Matunga resident best remembered for her fight to get justice following the mysterious death of her husband, Ramesh Kini, in 1996, died at her home on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest.
After her husband’s death, Sheila took on the Shiv Sena, which was in power then, after allegations of then Sena leader and current Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s involvement in the murder. Raj was, however, exonerated.
Ramesh’s body was found in a theatre in Pune a few days after he went missing. Before his disappearance, Ramesh had refused to vacate his flat in Laxmi Nivas building and Sheila had alleged that the landlord, a close friend of Raj, was pressurising him to do so.
The Hindustan Times had, on February 12, reported that Raj’s firm, Matoshree Realtors, is set to redevelop Laxmi Nivas. Most of the tenants had given their consent for this. Kini had refused to comment on the issue when HT had contacted her.
Activist Pushpa Bhave, who pursued the Ramesh Kini case, described Sheila as a brave woman. “Despite being barely educated, she fought the powers to secure justice for her husband,” Bhave told HT on Wednesday.
In those years, the Sena-led saffron government was ruling the state and Raj’s uncle and Sena chief Bal Thackeray had derided Sheila for pursuing the matter against his nephew.
The issue caused a lot of damage to the saffron alliance because then Opposition leader Chhagan Bhujbal exploited the matter to the hilt.
Bhave said that, over the years, Sheila had become a recluse. Her son, Nikhil, is studying computer engineering in the US.