It was Abdul Rehman Shaikh’s daily routine.
The 52-year-old would mount his scooter and drive from Nagpada to Nariman Point every evening after namaaz. On Tuesday evening, however, his joy ride landed him in hospital.
An allegedly drunk and speeding Sushil Kothari hit Shaikh’s scooter on Marine Drive. Shaikh suffered injuries to his back and leg but his friend Haji Qureshi (48), who was riding pillion, died.
Shaikh is recuperating at Saifee Hospital. His younger brother, Rashid, said Shaikh survived because he was wearing a helmet. “But Haji Qureishi’s seven children and wife have nowhere to go now. He was the family’s sole earning member,” Rashid said.
Qureshi was a scrap dealer and his shop was located at Bharat Bazaar in Nagpada, Shaikh owns owns a grocery store at Grant Road.
The victims’ families, who were present at Malabar Hill police station on Wednesday, alleged that the accident was Kothari’s fault and also criticised the police for delaying the investigation procedure. “My brother had never went beyond a speed of 20 to 30 kmph and it is impossible that they were speeding,” Rashid said.
Shaikh, who lay in his hospital bed in a daze, said he and Qureshi, who was his childhood friend, loved visiting Marine Drive after a hard day’s work. “We used to park our scooter on the promenade and enjoy a quite walk,” Shaikh said. “It [the accident] happened so fast that I blacked out. When I got up, I had lost my friend.”
Abdul’s 19-year-old son, Zeeham, said: “Qureshi uncle was trapped under the wheels of the car. An iron rod from the two-wheeler has pierced my father’s leg and causing him excruciating pain.”