A year on, kin of Elphinstone stampede victims inconsolable; pay tearful homage
I spoke to Meena once during her lunchtime. Never did I imagine that a 10-minute rainfall would decide her fate. Rajini, sister of a victim
Relatives and friends of those who lost their lives in the Elphinstone Road foot-overbridge stampede were inconsolable as they lit candles on the first anniversary of the tragic incident. Railway officials, police officers and commuters also lit candles outside the bridge at around 10:30 am when the stampede had occurred last year.
The relatives of Meena Walhekar, who died in the incident, had asked permission from the Railways to organise a candle march on the eve of the incident during the day, just beside the bridge.
Recalling the fateful day, a teary-eyed Rajini, Meena’s elder sister, said, “It was a day before Dussehra. Meena left home for office a little earlier than usual since. I spoke to her once during the day in her lunchtime. Never did I imagine that a 10-minute rainfall would decide her fate.”
While handing out candles to the passerby who paused to pay homage, Meena’s brother Shamu Walhekar said, “It was the railway’s fault undoubtedly. I am glad that two new bridges have been built. Had they built the bridges on time, my sister would have been alive.” he said.
Far from the crowd, Ankush Parab sobbed uncontrollably. He had come alone, leaving his wife and a traumatised son home. Parab’s younger son Rohit, aged 12, died of a cardiac arrest in the stampede. His other son, Aakash aged 19, survived with serious leg injuries.
“His fracture required surgery to insert a plate and screws. He can’t even walk properly,” said Parab, who shifted from one billboard to another showing the photos of his two sons who had come to buy flowers on the fateful day, unsure of whom he grieved more.
Ankush Parab, who lost his 12-year-son in the stampede, pays a tribute to everyone who lost their lives in the stampede
Railway officials along with citizens pay their tribute to those who lost their lives in the stampede on its 1st anniversary