BMC files FIR a month after woman drowns in manhole at Ghatkopar

More than a month after a 35-year-old woman allegedly fell into a manhole and her body fished out in the Arabian Sea near Haji Ali, BMC registers an FIR against an unknown person for negligence. The move by the Mumbai civic body comes even as its own probe report remains inconclusive. Meanwhile, Sheetal’s husband has decided to file a writ petition in Bombay high court to seek justice.

Bhanushali, 35, a resident of Ashapura Society at Asalfa Village of Ghatkopar, allegedly fell into an open manhole in a narrow lane amid heavy rainfall on October 4. Her corpse was found over 21 km away in the sea near Haji Ali almost 24 hours later. However, the incident of Bhanushali's untimely death and her corpse found all the way near Haji Ali remains mysterious as neither the BMC nor the Mumbai police has been able to find what led to it.

The BMC commissioner had formed a probe committee under deputy municipal commissioner (DMC) Sanjay Darade, which reportedly was inconclusive about the reasons behind the death. It is learnt that the report submitted by the committee also fails to clear the mystery behind the death. Following this, the BMC officials have now registered an FIR.
"We have submitted the report and we have taken appropriate action by registering an FIR. The investigation will be carried on further by the local police," said a senior BMC official.

Bhanushali who has stepped out to pick up flour from the local flour mill is suspected to have fallen into an open manhole in Asalpha, as the carry bag she had taken with her was found lying around that manhole. However, BMC officials find it "Impossible" for the body to have washed away till Haji Ali from a drain in the Ghatkopar area.

"The drains are very narrow for the corpse to pass through and wash away 22 km away," a BMC official said.

When contacted DMC Darade refuted to comment on the matter citing he is busy.

"On the complaint of BMC officer we have registered an offence under section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC and our investigation is underway, it is too early to say anything for now," said a police officer investigating the case.

Meanwhile, Bhanushali's husband, Jitesh Dama and others in her family are planning to move to court seeking justice.

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