Crawford Market accident: 'My mom was dragged 300 m before car hit cafe,' says victim

Updated: 03 September, 2020 08:10 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

Victims of horrendous Crawford Market accident include a 60-year-old woman with a daughter and two handicapped sons, a bag-seller, a restaurant worker, a homeless woman, and another 70-year-old local

Saira Bano, 60, and (left) Mohammed Naim Shaikh, 70, the bag seller who died
Saira Bano, 60, and (left) Mohammed Naim Shaikh, 70, the bag seller who died

Saira Bano was out buying vegetables for her family, when a speeding car rammed into her, dragging her several metres before crashing into Cafe Janata and causing her instant death. The Monday accident at Crawford Market killed five people and injured three others. The man behind the wheel on that fateful night was identified as Sameer Ali Ibrahim Sayyed alias Diggi, a history-sheeter.

Sameer Ali Ibrahim Sayyed alias Diggi, 46, who, according to an eyewitness, was "driving at 120 kmph" on that night, had just in June hit a woman with his car at J J Marg and was thrashed by the locals. J J Marg police registered a case for rash driving after the woman refused to file a complaint. Police sources told mid-day numerous cases are registered against him at different police stations in South Mumbai. The charges against him are all serious — rioting, hurting religious sentiments, circulating fake currency, etc. In 2011, he was booked under Arms Act for "procuring 18 sophisticated weapons from the underworld".

Saroja Naidu, 71, the homeless woman and (right) Zubeida Abdul Rehman Khan, 70
Saroja Naidu, 71, the homeless woman and (right) Zubeida Abdul Rehman Khan, 70

"However, the Mumbai Crime Branch had to release him as there was dearth of evidence against him," a source said. His crime graph was spiralling up so fast that the Mumbai police had to extern him in 2008. "He spent his childhood with Fahim MachMach alias Fatwa, a wanted gangster who worked for Chhota Shakeel."

"Not just Diggi, but all his family members are history-sheeters or have criminal background," the source added. mid-day had published a news report on April 30, 2013, about Diggi's wife Yasmeen registering a fake molestation case at MRA Marg police station against a youth, Irfan Shaikh — a man who was bed ridden at GT Hospital.

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

1. Diggi was speeding when he rammed his vehicle into several people before crashing into Cafe Janata on Monday night

2. Senior inspector of Pydhonie police station, Subhash Dudhgaonkar, said he first hit a woman, Saira Bano, near Sadanand hotel at Carnac Bridge Road and the woman landed on the bonnet. But the driver, instead of stopping, increased the speed

3. While Saira Bano was still on top of his car, Diggi ran into a hand cart, but he continued to speed and his vehicle took a flight at Crawford market junction

4. The car landed near Cafe Janata hotel, killing four people, including Saira Bano, on the spot, and leaving many others injured. One of the injured persons succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at a hospital. Salim Maradiya, the Cafe Janata manager, said the impact of the accident was so severe that a bag seller "was thrown into our shop and the wall collapsed on two women seated near our hotel".

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First Published: 03 September, 2020 07:01 IST

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