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Chapter 13 : Family Miseries
When they reached the Pune government hospital, they asked the receptionist for the ward and bed number of Vijaya, after identifying themselves as the patient’s family members from Mumbai.
The receptionist told them to wait and sit on the chairs facing the reception counter, so that he could pass on the message to the concerned doctors. He told them that since it was an accident case, he could not immediately allow them inside without proper authority.
Shinde and his family members could hardly contain their anger and anxiety on hearing such talk from the receptionist, but lawyer Sharma tried to calm them while he understood their situation.
After a while, the receptionist gave them the directions to the doctors’ cabin and told them very clearly that they should go straight to the doctors’ cabin only, and only after discussions with them and only after receiving police permission, they could see their daughter.
At the moment the police personnel were not present and hence they would have to wait for their arrival. He told them that a constable would be arriving shortly. He then told them to go the doctors’ cabin.
Shinde along with the others literally ran upstairs to the doctors’ cabin. After waiting for some time which again tested their patience, a couple of doctors entered the doctors’ cabin. The doctors took their time to attend to them.
After listening to their names, their relationship with Vijaya and the case details from them, the doctors said that they should wait for the arrival of the inspector in charge of the case, before they could allow them to go to the ward, where Vijaya was being treated. They told the Shinde family to wait outside the cabin.
When Shinde asked the doctors almost in a crying voice why should they wait, they replied that only after the police confirmed their papers handed over to them by the Mumbai police, they would be able to allow them inside the ward along with the inspector and not otherwise.
Finally, after about half an hour, an inspector and a constable came to the doctors’ cabin. After a few minutes of dialogues between them and the inspector, the doctors called Shinde inside the cabin and introduced him to the inspector.
The inspector asked for Mumbai police inspector’s papers concerning the case, which Shinde handed over to him. After going through them in a leisurely manner, he said, “Come, let us go”.
They then trooped in to the concerned ward, where Vijaya was lying.
He told them that they should first identify her and verify that she was Vijaya only and nobody else. Only after they identified her as Vijaya, he would make the next moves.
The inspector told them that they should try to remain calm and not raise a commotion. He continued that he understood their mental condition and their anxiety, but cautioned them to hold themselves properly.
But when they saw Vijaya lying on the bed, with some head bandages, as also bandages on the neck, shoulders and plasters in different spots, along with some fluid tubes for her food intake and an oxygen mask for her breathing etc, they could not control themselves as cautioned by the inspector, and broke down completely. Even Vijaya’s brother lost his composure and broke down on seeing her.
When her mother rushed to the bed to touch Vijaya in an attempt to wake her, the nurse sitting nearby prevented her from doing so. She said that the patient should not be disturbed. Her mother’s pleas did not move the nurse who strictly asked her to stand at a distance without making any noise.
Even though the inspector understood that they had identified her as Vijaya, still he asked them about it formally and the parents confirmed that it was Vijaya only and that she was their daughter. Her brother also confirmed the same.
After composing himself with some effort, Shinde asked the doctors about her status. Before they could reply, the inspector said “Come on, Mr. Shinde. Let us go outside the ward and to the doctors’ cabin. Your wife can sit there near the bed without disturbing the patient. The nurse will be with her for all help”.
After looking at Vijaya for a long moment and after nodding at his wife, Shinde accompanied the inspector followed by their son, Sharma and the doctors, to their cabin a little distance away from the ward and sat on the chairs.
It was Sharma, who now spoke and asked the inspector to tell them how they found Vijaya and what happened to her, how she had become unconscious and why she has not come out of it so far.
The inspector told them that a police van was passing along a road at around 3 o'clock in the morning some 3 months back. One of the constables in the
jeep felt a little giddy and had an urgent vomiting sensation.
So they stopped the jeep by the side of the road, where there was a vacant spot between a row of buildings. The street lights on that stretch of the road were not working and hence there was darkness at that spot.
When he went to the side, he found to his horror that a damaged motor cycle was lying on the side of the road. Further along, he could vaguely get the sight of a boy and a little further ahead, a girl were lying in the darkness, to which his eyesight got adjusted by then.
He shouted at his colleagues at the top of his voice, to inform them about it and called them to the spot. He rushed near them to check their condition.
The others joined him by the time he found out that the boy was dead, but the girl was alive but unconscious.
Since there was no street light, they positioned the jeep in such a way that the headlights could be beamed towards them.
Obviously, they had met with a severe accident, they had head injuries and blood was splattered all along the road as also on their bodies. There were tyre marks around them.
They started checking the scene without disturbing the blood spots, the tyre marks and the other pieces of evidence, which would be required to file a case of accident and to carry out all the police formalities.
They called their police station and informed them about the accident and asked them to send an ambulance to treat the unconscious girl and a forensic team immediately to check for all the relevant details.
After all the formalities were completed at the accident spot, the boy and the girl were brought in the ambulance to this government hospital, since it was an accident case.
The doctors declared that the boy was dead but that the girl was alive but unconscious. They started their treatment for her but they could not succeed in reviving her back to consciousness. She has been lying like this ever since in a coma till now.
When the police persons at the accident spot tried to find out about the identities of the boy and the girl, they found that nothing was present with them. They were well dressed, indicating that they might have attended some party, but no purse or any identity cards were found on them.
Some people might have stolen them of whatever cash and jewellery they had with them. We are saying this, since there was a mark of ring on the right hand ring finger of the boy, but the ring was missing.
There was an ear ring also on the boy’s right ear but that was intact. Similarly, Vijaya’s jewellery were intact. Obviously, whoever stole them of their belongings, had decided that these jewellery items were not made of gold and hence had no value and so they did not take them.
Whatever jewellery Vijaya was wearing, were removed by the hospital staff and they are in the hospital’s safe custody.
From the number plate of the motorcycle, we traced the owner and questioned him. He said that he had given the vehicle for repairs to one of the repair shops, but the mechanic was taking so much time in carrying out the repairs, that he lost his cool and shouted at him for wasting his time.
The mechanic in turn said that there were more vehicles at his garage for repairs than he could handle and hence there was loss of time. After the owner shouted at him, the mechanic gave the vehicle to another mechanic known to him to carry out the repairs.
The other mechanic repaired it and was taking trial runs to check whether the vehicle was OK before handing over it back to the owner. But he did not come back to me said the first mechanic even after two days of trials, after which he was untraceable. The mechanic said that beyond that he did not know anything about the vehicle.
But since the owner was not satisfied with the mechanic’s replies, he filed a complaint with the police against the mechanic and that his vehicle was missing.
After getting the mechanic’s version, the police went in search of the second mechanic but he was not traceable.
The police tried to trace the boy who died in the accident by posting his photos in various police stations in and around Pune. The photos were taken at the accident spot in different angles.
Afterwards his photos were published in some newspapers also to trace him, but there was no response from anybody. The mechanic was also asked about the boy but he said that he did not know him. He said that he did not know the girl also.
(To be continued) Back to Chapter 12