Alleges that cops have not lodged FIR on husband’s statement, want post mortem report; woman died after portion of ‘illegal construction’ fell on her
The municipal corporation demolished the illegal construction after the incident. Pics/Hanif Patel
Nearly five days after her death, the family of a woman has refused to claim her body from the mortuary at JJ hospital, citing police apathy. The 35-year-old woman from Vasai succumbed to injuries — sustained when part of an allegedly illegal construction fell on her — on March 22 at Bombay Hospital and her family has accused MBVV police of safeguarding a handful of people allegedly involved. They have claimed that the police are forcing them to claim the body and have pasted a notice on their house saying they will approach Vasai court to end the matter. They want the FIR in the case to be registered on the complaint of the woman's husband and her post mortem report. The police have registered the FIR on the statement of an autorickshaw driver who was at the spot, the family claimed.
The deceased Renu Ramesh Gupta, sold vada pav or vegetables in Vasai West. She was seriously injured when portion of an under-construction building fell on her on March 20. “She was found trapped under the debris. She was rushed to a nearby civic run hospital, but no police officers met us,"said Nirmala Gupta, Renu's mother-in-law. “A person named Rakesh Gharat, whom we suspect is connected to the builder, met us and asked me not to approach the police or else he would not bear the expenses for medical treatment," said Rekha Gupta, Renu’s sister-in-law.
A day after the incident, the injured woman — mother of four children — was referred to Bombay Hospital where she breathed her last on March 22. “The Manikpur police did not approach us, nor did they record her statement. She wanted to live. She was talking to everybody. But, surprisingly, cops did not visit to record even her statement,"”Rekha added.
“After her death, the Manikpur police recorded the statement of an autorickshaw driver (he was near the spot at the time of the incident) and filed an FIR. They did not ask us anything. Why was the FIR not registered based on the statement of my brother? Why was an auto-rickshaw driver made the complainant?” she asked.
The relatives of the deceased further added that Gharat had paid R50,000 at Bombay Hospital for the medical treatment. After she breathed her last, the outstanding bill of Bombay Hospital was another Rs 22,000. Gharat did not pay anything more.
“The family had come to me after the death of Renu. So, I first asked if the FIR was registered. They were not aware of it. When I enquired at Manikpur police station, we were not told anything on March 22 though we waited there for more than 8-hrs,” said Devalal Gupta, one of the good Samaritans helping the devastated family.
Cops move body
By the time money was arranged, the Bombay Hospital’s bill rose to R31,000 (including mortuary charges). “We could arrange only R10,000 and paid the same to Bombay Hospital. But when we were busy arranging the remaining amount, the cops from Manikpur police reached there and took Ranu's body to JJ Hospital to get the autopsy done,” said Ramesh Gupta, her husband.
“Now, Manikpur police have been pressuring us to claim the body and have pasted a notice on our house for the same. They are also threatening us by saying they will approach Vasai court. We learnt later that the construction work, part of which fell on Renu, was illegal. But neither the municipal corporation nor the police did anything to stop it," said Nirmala.
“Why should we claim the body now when the Manikpur police quietly took it from Bombay Hospital without informing us? We have been asking them to consider our complaint and register an FIR on the complaint of my son, her husband. But the cops are doing nothing to help us, instead they are safeguarding the culprits and have booked a contractor involved in the work who has nothing to do with the incident,” added Nirmala.
mid-day spoke to Senior Inspector Sampat Patil of Manikpur police station who said, “We were in touch with the family after the incident but the woman was not in a condition to give her statement, so we could not record it.”
“We had been calling her husband to register an FIR but he did not listen to us. So we called the autorickshaw driver and registered an FIR in this matter under sections 304-A, 337, 427 of Indian Penal Code against contractor Gurubari Yadav alias Chaudhary on March 22,” Patil told mid-day.
No arrest has been made in this case, he added. Patil further added that the land belongs to a person who is no more. “A case under MRTP Act has also been registered against his/her beneficiary,” he added. It is learnt that the VVCMC municipal corporation woke up from its slumber to act on a year-old complaint and demolished the illegal construction on Friday.