Police believe the incident to be a death by suicide but the motive is still unclear
The victim could not be saved despite a speedy search operation
The Gorai Jetty in Borivli was witness to tragic drama on Friday night, after an autorickshaw driver drove his vehicle off the jetty and into the water. Despite speedy reactions from the locals as well as a search and rescue operation by the police, the driver had already died by the time he was pulled out of the water.
According to the Borivli police, the incident occurred at around 10.15 pm on Friday. Eye witnesses told mid-day that the auto came speeding through the gate to the jetty, despite police personnel posted at the local police chowkie trying to stop it. Before anyone could react, it had driven off the edge into the water.
Sushma Davade, who witnessed the incident, told mid-day, “I had just boarded a boat to go to Gorai when the auto plunged into the creek. I started shouting for help and looking for anyone who could swim so that the victim could be saved, but no one was willing to enter the swampy water in the dark.”
Police personnel who had gone running after the auto then alerted the police control room, while shopkeepers near the jetty also called up ex corporator Shivanand Shetty. Before long, a full-scale search and rescue operation was mounted. However, by the time the auto was pulled out of the water, the victim was already dead. Documents found on the deceased’s person identified him as Pravin Patkar, 69, a resident of Charkop in Kandivli. Prima facie, the police believe this is a death by suicide.
“We have found that Patkar was not staying with his family and that he was suffering from diabetes but the reason behind his extreme step is still not clear,” said Senior Police Inspector Ninad Sawant, Borivli police station, adding that an Accidental Death Report has been registered. Patkar is survived by his wife, daughter, son and daughter-in-law, officials said.