Mumbai dumper carnage: Eyewitness finds that victims were his long lost relatives

Apr 13, 2013, 08:11 IST | Shailesh Bhatia

When Rakesh Ughade rushed to help the two victims of the deadly pile-up on JVLR yesterday, he didn't know who they were. It was only when his aunt identified the bodies that he realised they were his own flesh and blood

Standing in wait while his car got repaired at a garage near Jogeshwari last afternoon, Rakesh Ughade watched in horror as a dumper hurtled out of control, and crashed into a footpath, crushing two unsuspecting souls who were sitting in the shade of a tree by the side of the road.

Rakesh Ughade

He rushed to help the two ragpickers, only to make the discovery that they had died on the spot. His disbelief, however, was compounded when he was told minutes later that the victims were his long-lost kin, who had drifted apart from his family when under severe financial duress.

The incident took place at around 1.30 pm when the driver of a dumper lost control of his vehicle near MMRDA colony situated on JVLR and rammed into autos, tempos and other cars. Pic/Kiran Bhalerao

Ughade (27), who works as an executive in Seepz, was out getting his car repaired around 1.15 pm when the dumper went on a rampage on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, crushing Chandrabhaga Jadhav (65) and her only son Arun (35) in its path of destruction. “It was only after my aunt, who lives in the area, reached the spot, that she identified Arun as my maternal uncle. It was after this that I informed the rest of the family about the tragedy,” said Rakesh.

Rakesh Ughade
Rakesh Ughade and his uncle Nyandeo Paikrao were devastated to have been reunited with their long-lost kin in this tragic manner

Mowed down
According to Rakesh, his unlucky relatives were having food as they sat in the shade of a tree to get some respite from the scorching summer sun. “It was sheer coincidence that my car developed some engine problems and I happened to be in a garage on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, just a few feet away from the accident spot.

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There is no way that I would have recognised them, for the simple reason that I had never had any social interaction with them. Moreover, their bodies were mutilated in the accident.”

Padma Bhiwale
Padma Bhiwale, sister of victim Chandrabhaga Jadhav, grieves over the loss

Nyandeo Paikrao, Ughade’s uncle and the 65-year-old victim’s brother-in-law, recalled that Arun’s father Bhimrao Jadhav was a Jawan in the Indian Army. “The family of husband, wife and the two kids Arun and Gangu, was making ends meet. They owned a residence in a Powai chawl. After Bhimrao’s demise around 25 years ago, the widow was forced to sell the house to get her daughter Gangu married. They were plunged into financial difficulties,” he said.

Eventually, the mother and son shifted to a shanty erected between the Powai pipeline near Milind Nagar slums. “Arun was sickly right from the beginning and assisted his mother in gathering scrap, which was the family’s only source of income.” Late last night, the family was seen outside the post- mortem department at Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle waiting to claim the bodies.

The injured
Kavita Mane: Admitted in ICU with right leg fracture
Vijay Francis: Left the hospital after basic treatment
Suresh Giri: Left the hospital without treatment
Balkrishnan: Refused admission and left after primary treatment
Marie Francis: Admitted in the hospital with fracture
Ram Singh: Discharged on OPD basis from Nanavati Hospital

The deceased
Chandrabhaga Jadhav (65)
Arun Jadhav (35) 

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