ACP Vasant Dhoble’s recent collision with controversy, triggered by the death of a hawker during one of his raids, has given way to another blaze of public ire sending more flak his way. The hawker’s 22-year-old daughter¸ allegedly unable to bear the bereavement, died yesterday. Hawkers hold Dhoble responsible for her death, though doctors said she did not die of the shock of grief.
After the death of Madan Jaiswal, Vakola-based hawker, his family has been jolted by the sudden death of his daughter Radha Devi Jaiswal, who had been in a state of shock since her father’s death. She died at KEM Hospital on Sunday evening. While the family held Dhoble responsible for Jaiswal’s death, it claimed the shock of her father’s death claimed Radha’s life.
Radha had flown down to Mumbai with her husband Mohan,their 2-year-old son and her in-laws. After looking at the body of her deceased father, she was numbed into a muted state of shock. Radha was the eldest of the siblings, the other two being her brothers Shriram (18) and Krishna (14).
“Ever since she saw her father’s body, she had not uttered a word to anybody. When we took her to VN Desai hospital, doctors referred her to KEM, where she was admitted to the ICU with a fever on January 16. She succumbed around 5.30 pm on Sunday,” said Ashok Singh, family friend of the Jaiswal’s.
Radha’s family has not asked for a postmortem. Her body has been handed over to her relatives, who said her in-laws would take it to Bihar for the final rites.
“Radha had come to the city on January 12, and was unwell. She was admitted to KEM and passed away on Sunday evening. We are on our way to the hospital to meet the family,” said D R Singh, a family friend.
Jaiswal’s kin, friends and the hawker community squarely blamed Dhoble for the family’s misfortune, angrily accusing the cop of unnecessary force and high-handedness.
A senior doctor at KEM said, “I was informed by the casualty medical officer that the victim was declared dead in the evening between 5.00 and 5.30 pm. Only a postmortem can ascertain the cause of death.”
Dr Sandhya Kamath, dean of KEM hospital, however, ruled out shock or trauma as the cause of her death. “Radha was suffering from bone marrow suppression following a viral infection she had contracted earlier. It led to a low blood count in her body. Shock is not the cause of her death.”
Jaiswal, originally from Bihar, died on January 11, during a surprise anti-hawker drive carried out by ACP Dhoble, then with Vakola division. His postmortem report by the JJ Hospital staff revealed that he had died due to a brain haemorrhage. But that did not stopp the cop’s detractors from pinning guilt on the ACP and demanding his transfer. Dhoble has presently been shunted to controls.