SoBo woman jumps off building, rumours malign eatery at spot

Updated: Mar 27, 2020, 16:35 IST | Hemal Ashar, Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Police said she was depressed; partner in popular restaurant dragged into case says he will take legal action against those defaming it

The police said Zenobia Batliwala was depressed
The police said Zenobia Batliwala was depressed

A woman allegedly committed suicide by jumping from a building at Fort on Thursday. She was identified as Zenobia Batliwala, 43, and the police said she was depressed.

Around 7 am on Thursday, locals called the police about a woman lying unconscious near Patel Chambers next to Fort Laundry, a few metres away from Ideal Corner, Fort. The police took her to St George Hospital where she was declared dead by doctors.

Batliwala lived with her mother, 90, on the third floor of Patel Chambers. According to the police, Batliwala was depressed since her father died a year ago. She quit her job a few months ago and was looking for a new one. The police said she had multiple injuries and was found just below the window of her house, suggesting that she jumped from it. The cause of death in the medical report is from an injury to the head and hands.

Eatery dragged into case

Pervez Savak Patel, a partner in Ideal Corner, a Parsi cuisine restaurant near Patel Chambers, is livid at his establishment being dragged into the case.

Batliwala's death started the community rumour mills churning on Thursday morning. Chat groups had several messages about a possible sexual assault that happened in Ideal Corner or just near it.

Said a livid Patel, "This establishment is 35-years-old. I have never read such bilge in my life. I got at least a million messages yesterday morning. I have got such filthy messages that I am going to take on these people spreading such vicious canards. They also tried to spoil the name of a factory nearby, saying some workers or truck drivers from the factory were responsible for the sexual assault."

Patel said that police who were on the scene on Thursday morning, showed him some pictures of the lady, "but I could not identify her."

Patel added, "As for those absolutely baseless filth about Ideal Corner, the restaurant has been shut. We are not doing any deliveries or takeaways. We had cooperated with the police with reference to this incident, which took place in a cross lane between Sherry House and Laxmi building at Gunbow Street, Fort. We also provided CCTV footage to the police to help them carry out their duties." Patel finished angrily that he was inclined to take legal action against those defaming Ideal Corner.

'No sexual assault'

The police have, however, ruled out sexual assault. DCP Sangram Singh Nishandar said, "According to the medical report, Batliwala's death is from a fall injury and not a sexual assault. In the investigation so far, we have found that she was mentally ill and that is why she committed suicide."

Family memories

Noshir Batliwala, Batliwala's cousin said, "I cannot understand why she did this. She was well-placed in life. She had a job… she did not give any indication of depression… and yet…" He added, "This was a girl who was always there for her family. She gave up her personal ambitions to look after her aged parents. Not many in today's world would do the same. She looked after my mother and her needs, when she was alive three years back. A good soul."

Smiling, jolly

A message on social media from the Girl Guides group said, "She was a flock leader and for guiders and children who were trained by her, it is very unnerving news. Her smiling face is not leaving us at this moment.' A girl guide leader added, "She was associated with the 71st Zoroastrian Guide Company. Flock leaders are those who look after the 6 to 10 age group, she was associated with them for a long time."

Anand Sathe, a former colleague at the London School of Commerce, Nariman Point said, "There has been a sense of disbelief since I heard the news yesterday afternoon. I remember her as a jolly person, brilliant at her work, though she could be little reserved. I was not in her department but co-workers said she was very well organised at work."

Funeral

The Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP) trustees were initially accused on some chats of doing nothing. They got a royal roasting in some voice notes doing the rounds. The Panchayat confirmed that the funeral is to take place today morning at Doongerwadi. "Numbers will be restricted because of Coronavirus stipulations. This is also to safeguard the Doongerwadi staff," they finished.

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