Ghatkopar manhole death: Drowned woman's son, spouse protest for FIR, detained by police

Updated: 16 October, 2020 07:13 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

But no FIR for negligence yet, as police say they are waiting for BMC's final report in case

Sheetal with her husband, Jitesh Bhanushali. File pic
Sheetal with her husband, Jitesh Bhanushali. File pic

The husband and 11-year-old son of Sheetal Bhanushali, whose body was found near Haji Ali 13 days ago, were detained by the Ghatkopar police on Thursday for protesting outside the police station along with 100 people. During their investigation, the police have determined that foul play in the case is unlikely and are waiting for a report from the BMC. The report from the civic body is likely to come within a week.

Sheetal Bhanushali (Dama) was residing in Ashapura Society, Asalfa village in Ghatkopar. She fell into an open manhole on a waterlogged road on October 3 and her body was found 21 km away on October 5. Police have scanned over 100 CCTV cameras beyond her residence but none have recorded Sheetal leaving the vicinity of her area. This increases the possibility of her having met an accident in her area itself.

Sheetal Bhanushali
Sheetal Bhanushali

DCP Prashant Kadam said, "We checked all possible CCTV cameras but Sheetal was not spotted anywhere. The last location on her mobile is of her residential area itself. No foul play is suspected so far. We are waiting for the BMC expert's report which will help us in the case. After that, we can decide on what action to take."

Police have recorded the statements of the tailor and the owner of the flour mill Sheetal had visited before the incident.

Death by drowning

The manhole into which Sheetal fell
The manhole into which Sheetal fell

A medical officer from Nair hospital told mid-day, "As per the post-mortem, Sheetal died of drowning. The approximate time of death if between 7.30 pm and 8 pm on October 3. There are also many scratches which could have been caused by falling into the nullah or by seawater. No injuries have been found yet."

The police team working on the case found that the gutter in which she supposedly fell is four feet deep and as such her body could have passed through it.

Sheetal was last seen on a CCTV camera going to a craft store with her son. She sent him home and went to the flour mill, but was not seen returning home. Residents of the area have claimed that the poor quality manhole covers are to blame for the incident.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and Sheetal’s family during the protest outside Ghatkopar police station on Thursday
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and Sheetal’s family during the protest outside Ghatkopar police station on Thursday

"I have been working in this area for the past two years and on the Mithi River system. The water of the Mithi River does not flow, even during high tide. It is possible that the river might have carried her body to the sea but its a rare exception. When the incident took place, there was low tide. The drainage line has been constructed by a central agency, our officers are working on the case. A report should be submitted this week," said Assistant Municipal Commissioner Manish Valanju of L ward.

Also Read: Mumbai: Body of woman missing from Asalfa fished out in Haji Ali

Family, politico protest

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and Sheetal’s family during the protest outside Ghatkopar police station on Thursday
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and Sheetal’s family during the protest outside Ghatkopar police station on Thursday

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said, "On Thursday, I was protesting outside Ghatkopar police station with Sheetal's husband Jitesh and their son, Jay. On Friday, we will protest outside Mantralaya to demand justice for Sheetal."

Keep scrolling to read more news

Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and a complete guide from food to things to do and events across Mumbai. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.

Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news

First Published: 16 October, 2020 07:11 IST

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
loading image
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK