As a lifeguard hauled her out of the waters off Juhu, he saw a child strapped to her; she resisted rescue efforts, and later said she was a victim of domestic violence
When the lifeguards at Juhu spotted the silhouette of a woman in neck-deep seawater behind the JW Marriott hotel after midnight last night, they issued warnings to her not to enter the dangerous deep. After she seemed not to respond to their calls, a lifeguard leaped into the water to avert what looked like a suicide attempt.
As he drew closer, she waded further away. When he finally caught up with her, she tried to fight him off defiantly, but failed. As her rescuer hauled her closer to the shore, he realised she was not alone. Her eight-year-old son was strapped to her stomach with her dupatta.
Said lifeguard Deepak Chaudhary, who was on night duty, "In the scant light beaming from the hotel compound, I initially saw the woman in neck-deep water. It was unlikely that she was out for a swim at such an odd hour.
Sensing something fishy, I jumped into the water and swam to her. Not until I had hauled her out to shallow water did I realise that a child in a red and white T-shirt was tied to her stomach with her blue dupatta."
'In a frenzy'
Chaudhary said that the woman, identified as Amrita (name changed), a 25-year-old housewife from Kurar, Malad (East), was in a state of hysteria at the time of being rescued. She resisted all attempts to be dragged out of the sea, insisting that she must be set free so she could die along with her son (name withheld).
The lifeguard association's chairman Neville David said that upon being brought to the land, and after her son was recuperated with CPR, Amrita came to her senses. She alleged that she had been beaten up by her husband and father-in-law and virtually thrown out of the house. Miserable and with nowhere to go, she decided to end her and her son's life.
"From her attire and speech and from the kid's get-up, they appeared to be from a decent family. We subsequently handed the duo over to the Santacruz police," said David.
Confirming the news, Senior Police Inspector Madhukar Chaudhary of Santacruz police station said that apparently it was domestic violence that led Amrita to take the drastic step of trying to kill herself and her innocent child.
He said, "After recording her statement and conducting medical formalities, we handed over the case to Kurar police, who will now investigate the case and probe the marital discord and domestic violence angle."
Subhash Dafle, senior police inspector at Kurar police station was unavailable for comment.