Alcohol and water don’t mix. This was proved when late-night drinking session among four friends at a private poolside in Versova turned fatal for a 20-year-old youth as he drowned while swimming in an inebriated state. Imran Shaikh, the deceased, was enjoying a few pints with three friends — Mudassar Pansare (23), Nikita Pujari (25) and Prajakta Dalvi (28) —at a swimming pool in the premises of Woodstock Apartments, off Yari Road, Versova, in the wee hours of Wednesday, when the incident occurred.
Mudassar, who is an event manager and resides at Woodstock, had invited his friends, including Imran, to his place on Tuesday night for a small get-together. “We were having a good time at the poolside that night,” said Mudassar, adding that Imran was a good swimmer and he was the only one in the deep end (six feet) of the pool.
He added, “After a while, at around 2 am, we saw that his body just lying still in the water. Since he was a good swimmer, we thought he was joking around and let him be. But when he didn’t move for a long time, we finally pulled him out of the water.” The trio then tried to resuscitate Imran, but to no avail. Mudassar said, “He was motionless and we tried to revive him by thumping his chest and giving mouth-to-mouth, but there was no response.”
Finally, the trio called a rickshaw and took Imran to Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle (W), where he was pronounced dead on arrival. At around 3 am, Nikita informed the deceased’s brother Zohaib Shaikh about the incident. “One of my friends received a call at around 3 am from Nikita saying that Imran had passed away,” said Zohaib, adding, “I panicked and rushed to Cooper Hospital, where I learnt that his body had been taken for a post mortem. I am deeply shocked.” Akhtar Khan, Imran’s cousin, confirmed that the deceased was a very good swimmer and said everyone in his family was stunned to find out he had drowned. “He used to swim in 10-feet deep seawater, so how can he drown in a swimming pool?” asked Akhtar.
Akhtar informed that Imran used to work at a meat shop and resided at Kamgar Nagar, Four Bungalows, Andheri (W). It was at the meat shop that Imran got acquainted with Mudassar about a year back. “Mudassar used to call Imran regularly at night for such sessions and all four were part of a common group,” he added. Imran’s family suspect foul play and want police to probe the matter. “It is possible that one of his three friends had something to do with it,” said Zohaib. “Perhaps there was some enmity between them. We want the police to investigate further,” he added.
The Versova Police, under whom the case is registered, however, has dismissed any such claims. “The death was purely accidental and we don’t suspect any other angle,” said Nandkumar Mhetar, senior police inspector at Versova, adding that it was a case of simple drowning. “In the post mortem conducted at Cooper Hospital, we found nothing to suspect otherwise. There was no injury mark on the victim’s body to suggest there was any struggle or fight,” he added.
Cops have, however, registered a case of death by negligence (section 304A of the IPC) against Imran’s three friends. “All four people were drunk; we found beer bottles by the poolside. They should not have been swimming, more so drinking, at that late an hour,” said Mhetar, adding that
they should have taken necessary precautions as there was no lifeguard present late at night. Mhetar later informed that the investigation is not over and the three accused will be produced at the Railway Mobile Court in Andheri on Thursday. “We will request for further police custody,” said Mhetar.