News headlines

Ruhi Khan for Mumbai Mirror

Mulund, Sep 19: A 30-year-old woman was killed on Sunday when a coconut tree fell on her on the premises of Mahakali temple in Mulund, where she had gone to offer her prayers.

Family members of the deceased, Laxmi Nagesh Rao, said she died when the tree, which was being cut by some labourers, fell and broke her neck. Laxmi was rushed to the BMC-run Agarwal hospital, where was declared brought dead.

Residents of the area said, “The moment she stepped out of the temple, the tree hit her and she died on the spot.”

Seven-year-old, Sonu, who lost his mother in the accident, said sobbingly: “Yesterday, she left for the temple around 10 in the morning. But she never came back.”

Nagesh, her husband, a daily-wage earner, said he was in Pune for some work when the incident took place.

“Laxmi had told me that she would go to the temple to pray for our prosperity and the well-being of our 11-year-old daughter, Pooja. She had a lot of faith in Kali Ma,” Nagesh said even as he hugged Sonu.

“My father, who was visiting us, took care of Sonu until I came home. We have still not broken the news to Pooja,” a distraught Nagesh added.

Rajan Gowda, Nagesh’s neighbour, said: “The land adjoining the temple, on which the tree was standing, was given to one a builder who had employed a contractor to fell the trees on the plot. But before cutting the tree, the labourers employed there had not taken adequate safety measures.” When the tree fell on the woman, killing her instantly, the labourers ran away, Gowda added. Laxmi’s neighbours are agitated with the temple management for cutting trees without seeking permission of the BMC or putting up boards to warn unsuspecting passers-by.

“When we called up the BMC after the incident, the civic officials said they had not given any permission to the builder to fell the trees,” said Gowda.

A bewailing Nagesh said those responsible for her death should be punished. 

An officer at Mulund police station said, “As no permission was sought to fell the trees on the temple premises, we have detained the caretaker of the temple.”

Assistant Police Commissioner (zone VII) P Patil told Mumbai Mirror, “It is not a case of accidental death. We are investigating the incident and those found responsible will be punished.”


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