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11 of Mumbai family killed: Neighbours in shock, say kids, woman prayed for safe journey

Neighbours of the Mumbai family have decided to hold a condolence meet this week

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2017 12:20 IST
Mumbai,Mumbai family killed,10 dead
Neighbours said they do not know who will manage the family’s property now.(Rishikesh Choudhary)

After the Shah family was killed in an accident near Tagdi village in Ahmedabad on Sunday, neighbours said they are still in a state of shock. They told police that Kiran, 45, and her two children visited a temple inside their building on Saturday, to seek blessings for a safe journey before leaving for Palitana, a pilgrimage town for Jains in Gujarat.

“They asked us to keep a watch on their house as they would not be back for a few days.They were like family to us. We shared everything. It was shocking to find out that the whole family had been killed,” said Manoj Mehta, Kiran’s neighbour.

Kiran had been living in the Nishigndh Building near Kasturi plaza for the past 22 years. The area has a predominantly Jain population.

As Kiran lost her husband seven years ago, neighbours said they do not know who will manage the family’s property now. The family’s flat is currently locked.

“No one from the family has approached us yet. As the accident took place in Gujarat, a case has been registered with the Dhandhuka police station, said an officer from the Dombivli police station.

In accordance with relatives’ wishes, all 11 bodies were created in Gujarat on Monday morning.

On Sunday morning, the jeep the family was travelling in collided head on with a truck carrying LPG cylinders. Police said a preliminary probe indicates that the jeep driver lost control of the vehicle after he fell asleep at the wheel and veered on to the wrong side of the road.

Shashikant Shah, 54; his wife Rita, 50; daughter Dhara, 24; sister-in-law Kiran, 45; her daughter Jinali, 20; son Namil, 17; sister-in-law Bharti, 52; cousin Hitesh, 50; his wife Vibha, 45;, nephew Nandish, 18; and driver Mohammed Malik, 50, were killed. Malik was from Vadodara and Bharti from Surat.

“I got a call that morning and reached the spot around 6 am. I was shocked to see the bloodstained and mangled remains of the jeep. I found out about the deaths when I went to the hospital. I didn’t have the courage to face my friend’s relatives and so called my family for support,” said Rajesh Kumar, a family friend who lives in Gujarat.

An officer from the Dhandhuka police station said a case has been registered against Malik as he had been driving at the time of the accident. “He has been booked under section 304(a) (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code. Both vehicles were sent to a regional transport office, where they will be examined to ascertain if the brakes of either had failed,” he said.

Jainam Shah, 17, the lone survivor, is currently critical after having suffered severe head and body injuries, said police. He is a Class 12 student at a Ghatkopar college. His father had moved to Nilkanth Pooja building in the area just two months ago.

“Jainam is so young and has lost his entire family. He will return to fetch his belongings after he recuperates. We pray that he recovers from the pain soon,” said a neighbour.

Kumar said doctors told him that Jainam was responding to the medication.

An officer said that as Jainam was the only eye witness, police will record his statement once he is discharged. Police are also talking to locals and trying to find other eye witnesses to the accident.

Jainam’s father Shashikant was a supplier of tailoring materials, while his wife was a homemaker.

Shashikant’s cousin brother Hitesh lived in Vina building at Rajajipath Road. He and his wife, Vibha, did not have children. They looked after Nandish who lost his parents in an accident a few years ago.

Neighbours have decided to hold a condolence meet this week. “ We will arrange to meet at our community temple this week and pray that the family rests in peace,” said Pankaj Shah, 44, a resident of Nilkanth building.

Neighbours added that 11 people were killed in an accident on the same stretch 11 years ago.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 11:51 IST