Pune rains: Body of woman who saved many found 10km away

Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 07:24 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh, Ranjeet Jadhav | Pune

Smita Komane had seen the rising water level and warned several villagers and her family members to seek higher ground before she was washed away

Locals remove Smita's body found on the banks of Karha river in Borawake Mala village. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Locals remove Smita's body found on the banks of Karha river in Borawake Mala village. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Saswad: The search for Smita alias Chakuli Ananta Komane from Saswad taluka of Pune ended 10 km away from her home on the banks of Karha river on Sunday. Smita, a BSc second year student who alerted her fellow villagers and family members about the rising water level, was swept away in the swollen river following intense rainfall while trying to help others on Wednesday before she could make it to high ground.

On Sunday afternoon, children playing along the Karha river in Borawake Mala village noticed a hand poking out of flood debris and told the villagers, who then informed the police. Ajit Mane, head constable at Saswad police station, said, "On Sunday afternoon, around 1 pm, we got a call from Borawake Mala village that children noticed something. The woman's hand was stuck in the debris of trees, clothes and utensils. It took around two hours just to pull her body out."

Parents show picture of Smita on their mobile phone
Parents show picture of Smita on their mobile phone

Family devastated
Smita's family members, who were hoping to find her alive were devastated by the news of her death. Gauri, Smita's elder sister, said, "God is brutal. He gave a brutal death to the person who saved 11 people. She must have suffered so much pain as there are injuries all over her body." The surviving members of the Komane family, the seventh descendants of freedom fighter Umaji Naik, have been given shelter by a local as their house was swept away in the flood water.

Locals, police pull out another body

The police, with the help of locals in Bhivadi village, on Sunday, pulled out the body of a 55-year-old man, who had gone missing on Thursday evening. Sambhaji Pawar had gone to the market to buy puja items for his son's first death anniversary on Friday and when he was swept away in the flash floods. "On Thursday evening, Pawar had gone to Saswad market to get puja materials. When Pawar didn't return home until next morning, the family understood that he had gone missing in the flash floods and they began a search operation when the water receded," a villager from Bhivadi told mid-day.

Locals, cops fish out Sambhaji Pawar's (inset) body from Karha river in Bhivadi village
Locals, cops fish out Sambhaji Pawar's (inset) body from Karha river in Bhivadi village

The police, NDRF and locals covered a 10-km long stretch of the Karha river in search of him. "It was confirmed that Pawar was washed away in the floods after we found his bike was found on the banks of the river on Saturday," said Prashant Wandekar, a villager. A day later, some villagers found his body stuck in the shrubs on the riverbank, about 2 kms away from where he went missing. Close to 100 people, including police and locals, fathered to pull out his body.

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