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Nitin Ivalekar's wife delays funeral, demands compensation in writing

Late fireman Nitin Ivalekar’s wife, Shubhangi, holds the funeral for seven hours until Chief Fire Officer gives written assurance that she will be provided with a job and timely monetary compensation  

Given the brutal twist of fate late fireman Nitin Ivalekar was dealt Friday, Shubhangi, his wife, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the municipal corporation does not walk away irresponsibly.

Also read: One fireman killed, 20 injured in Andheri corporate tower blaze

Shubhangi Ivalekar with her child
Shubhangi Ivalekar with her child

Shubhangi claimed she does not feel secure that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will offer her timely compensation for her future and the well-being of the couple’s two children. Yesterday, Nitin, 28, was cremated, but only after Shubhangi got AN Varma, Chief Fire Officer (in-charge), to give her a written confirmation that she will be compensated without delay and that she will be provided with a job according to her qualifications.

Firemen carry late Nitin Ivalekar to the crematorium.
Firemen carry late Nitin Ivalekar to the crematorium. Pics/Shadab Khan

On Saturday, the Mumbai Fire Bridge department arranged for the guard of honour at Byculla fire station for Nitin. Nitin’s body was then being taken back to his Virar home for the cremation. Shubhangi, however, claimed that the civic body would turn a deaf ear to the family if the body is cremated without any written record, and asked relatives to turn back from Sion and bring the body back to Byculla fire station. She then demanded an assurance in writing that the BMC would provide all facilities to the family in the near future, that the Municipal Commissioner’s monetary compensation will not be delayed and that she will be provided with a suitable job.

Shubhangi worked as a staff nurse at Cooper hospital before the couple had children. “My husband’s death is the fire department’s fault. Fifteen days ago, we took possession of our new flat in Virar. How will I repay the loan and educate my children now? Until the officers here don’t assure me in writing, I will not cremate my husband’s body,” she said. The fire officers, however, assured the family verbally but rejected to give anything in writing.

The firemen’s union supported Shubhangi. Sukdev Kashid, union secretary, said, “The fire department needs a makeover. Lotus Business Park got an NOC without fire inspection.”

Finally, after a seven-hour delay, the Chief Fire Officer relented and handed over a letter to Shubhangi. It stated that she could apply for a job at Kasturba Gandhi hospital on July 22 and the compensation will be given within a month of her submitting the required documents. Nitin was cremated at 6.30 pm in Virar.

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