Rahul Sawant had died after the branch of a tree fell on him in Vasai; police have found that the tree authority officer ignored constant complaints about dead and dangerous trees
Almost three months after 28-year-old Rahul Sawant was crushed under a tree in Vasai, the Manickpur police on Sunday booked a Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) official for causing his death by negligence.
Initially, the police had registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR), but investigation revealed that the death was caused due to the negligence of the tree authority officer of VVCMC, who allegedly ignored constant complaints about dead and dangerous trees on the Vasai street where the accident took place. There has been no arrest so far.
Several complaints about trees
Sawant’s father had held the VVCMC responsible for the death and registered a complaint with the Manikpur police station. The police checked complaints received by the VVCMC about dangerous and dead trees, and it was revealed that the president of the Vasant Nagri Complex Co-op Housing Society (outside which the mishap occurred), Joseph Varghese, and several others had complained many times to the VVCMC commissioner, requesting action against such trees, after a report about former TV anchor Kanchan Nath, who was crushed under a tree in Chembur last year.
“We have booked Surendra Patil, the tree authority officer from VVCMC under various Sections including section 304a (causing death by negligence) of the IPC,” said Senior Inspector Rajendra Kamble of Manikpur police station. However, he said no arrest has been made yet.
Waiting for justice
“My father filed the complaint and after constant follow-ups, the police booked the VVCMC official responsible for the death of my brother, for negligence. We should get justice,” said Rajshree Salvi, sister of the deceased. She had earlier told mid-day that Sawant had just got a job and was the only earning member in their house.
Rahul Sawant was returning after meeting a friend on February 25 when a branch of a tree fell on him outside Vasant Nagri Complex. The marketing executive was on a two-wheeler. He later died at RN Cooper Hospital due to the injuries.
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