Nitasha Natu - Times News Network
Mumbai, Jul 19: While several people came forward to help blast victims, some also made use of the opportunity to make away with whatever they could lay their hands on.
Senior citizen Girishbhai Gandhi, who sustained multiple injuries in the blasts and was carried to hospital by social workers, was carrying a black leather bag containing two files of office documents, cash, a cellphone, a senior citizen identity card and a first-class train pass.
“When we found him at the hospital several hours later, he only had his telephone diary on him,’’ Gandhi’s daughter Rupa told TOI .
“He was anxious about getting the files back so I went to Borivli railway police station but couldn’t find any of his belongings.’’ Rupa said she feared the bag had been stolen. “His address and contact number were on the ID card so whoever found the bag could have returned it if he wanted to.’’
If Gandhi’s was a case of missing belongings , Vasai resident Yogesh Pandey came across a person who instead of helping him, helped himself to his phone. Pandey, a JNPT employee, was thrown off the train and fractured his leg. Unable to pull himself up, he fished out his cellphone and gave it to a man to dial his family’s number. The man simply walked away with the phone.
National junior hockey player Sanford De Sales was killed in the blast at Matunga and the lower portion of his body was disfigured when his family found him.
“Sanford’s gold chain, cellphone and wristwatch were missing. Initially, we thought they were lost in the melee, but his wife started receiving blank text messages from his number, days after his death,’’ said De Sales’ brother Claude. Stunned, the family contacted the mobile service provider and got De Sales’ number disconnected.
“It’s a horrible thing to do,’’ said Claude but added that he did not want to press any charges. “You cannot pinpoint to any one person who could have done it, there were so many people helping out that day. I’m thankful to have found Sanford’s body,’’ he said.
The jewellery of Santacruz resident Nandini Naik, who was killed in the Borivli blast, was also stolen. Her family could not believe “how someone could steal from a dead person’’.
A Kandivli-based family, the Ajmera family, had to undergo a worse nightmare. NTC employee Ashok Ajmera, 54, died in the blast at Jogeshwari. His son Pravin had barely had time to mourn the loss when he was intimated that withdrawals to the tune of Rs 40,000 had been made from Ajmera’s bank account.
Ajmera had been carrying his credit and debit cards with him on the day of the blasts and the family had to block them to prevent further misuse. Further, the railway police did not entertain their complaint and they had to approach a contact in the CM’s office to get the FIR filed.