In a chilling reminder of the manner in which Raj Travels owner Lalit Sheth committed suicide, another person jumped off the Bandra-Worli Sea Link on Monday evening and drowned to death.
The body of the man, who was around 30 years old and whose identity is not known, has been sent for post-mortem.
Sheth had jumped off the bridge on August 1 over alleged business problems.
When a security guard posted at the sea link saw the man jump in the sea, he too jumped in, in an attempt to save him. The force of the water was such that the guard, Kamal Ali Abu Sama, too would have drowned, had it not been for the timely help of cops and other guards.
Speaking to MiDDAY, Sama said,"It was around 4 o'clock in the evening when a T-shirt-and-jeans-clad man came towards the Worli side of the sea link. I thought he might be strolling. He then suddenly dodged the security guards and started running. He ran for nearly a kilometre before jumping in."
Sama added that the guards blew their whistles and also chased him, but in vain.
On seeing the man jump in the sea, he too jumped in to save his life. Sama managed to get hold of the man's hand, but the waves were so powerful that he could not hold it for long. The man was washed way, while Sama was luckily saved by cops and other guards.
Sama is currently recuperating at Podar Hospital in Worli and out of danger. He hails from Assam and is staying in Mumbai for last six years. He said, “I know swimming for many years now. I swim in my village in Assam but here in the sea it was very dangerous.”
According to police inspector Jeevan Kharat of Worli police station, security guards called the police, who reached in time and fished out Sama.
Senior police inspector Dipak Pawar of Worli police station said, “The body is not identified. He was wearing a jeans and checked T-shirt. We have sent his body for post mortem to KEM hospital. The security guard did a tremendous job."
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has taken serious note about these incidents where people have jumped from the sea link and committed suicide.
The authorities have moved a proposal to have additional Close Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras on the bridge.
Apart from this they also have plans to deploy special guards, equipped with bikes, on the 4.7km-long sea link.
Confirming this development, an MSRDC official requesting anonymity said, “A couple of days ago we have moved a proposal to have more CCTV cameras on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, as time and again we are approached by various authorities to share the footage from the existing cameras on the sea link.”
At present, there are six CCTVs installed at various strategic locations. However, the entire bridge is not under electronic surveillance. Thus the need for more cameras.
The official added, “In order to avoid any such incident in future, the best way will be to have a set of private security guards who will patrol the sea link on bikes. By using this method, we will be able to keep a check on the motorists who halt their vehicles to click photographs and also avoid people from jumping off the bridge."
(Inputs by Ranjeet Jadhav)