Thane: Inebriated bus driver kills traffic constable

More than 40 passengers travelling in a Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) bus from Kashimira to Thane had a lucky escape, as the driver of the vehicle, under the influence of alcohol, was driving rashly, and applying unnecessary brakes. But, a traffic constable was not as lucky, as the rash driving act claimed his life. 

The bus involved in the accident 

All the passengers vacated the bus and asked the driver to stop driving. But, the latter did not budge, and ended up killing the 44-year-old police constable, based with the Kasarvadavali traffic unit. He was hit by the speeding TMT bus on late on Friday night, when he was busy easing traffic on Gaikmukh naka on Ghodbunder Road. The deceased has been identified as Chandrakant Salunkhe (44), who succumbed to his injuries. His eyes have been donated by his wife. 

The accused bus driver, Gajanan Shejul

A police official investigating the matter said, “The accused has been identified as Gajanan Shejul 56. We have learnt that, after the bus started from Kashimira towards Thane, Shejul started driving rashly, and applying urgent brakes. Around 40 passengers in the bus, including woman and kids, got alert and asked him to slow down, but the driving did not listen. A passenger noticed that he was drunk, after which they forced the bus to stop ahead of the Kashimira highway, and vacated the bus after taking back the fare they paid.”

A passenger, who had an oral dispute with the conductor over the drunk driver, suggested they park the vehicle instead of driving rashly. “But, the driver instead speeded up towards Thane on Ghodbunder Road.”

The deceased, Chandrakant Salunkhe

The accident
At around 11 pm on Friday night, the Thane traffic police received a message on the control about a container’s break down near Gaikmukh Road towards Jakat Naka. This container resulted in a backlog of traffic on the road. "To release the traffic, as heavy vehicles pass through the road, the deceased, Salunkhe went there, along with 3 to 4 other policemen. They were about to finish the job when a small tempo was moving in wrong way. So Salunkhe stopped him, asking him to wait till the traffic eases out.”

“Incidentally, the TMT bus, coming from the Ghodbunder side, that was about to move ahead came and directly hit the tempo. Salunkhe was standing near the tempo, and was crushed by the bus. Salunkhe suffered serve injuries on his body parts, while the driver of the tempo and truck suffered fractures on their hands," informed a police officer.

All the three were shifted to a private hospital, where Salunkhe succumbed to his injuries and was then shifted to the Thane Civil hospital for further post mortem.

A case was been register at Kasarvadavali police station under sections of the Indian Penal code and Motor vehicle act. “The TMT driver Shejul was arrested on Friday itself. The TMT authorities will take strict action against him for his untoward behaviour that took the life of a brave man on duty,” said, Shreekant Shonde, Senior Police Inspector, Kasarwadavli Traffic Unit.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Thane traffic unit, Rashmi Karandikar, while speaking to mid-day, said, "It a tragedy that we have lost our man on duty. We are working for the welfare of the family. The wife of our police constable has donated his eyes.”

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