Kite manja mishap claims life of Sakal employee

Mubarak Ansari
Sunday, 11 February 2018

"We lost our sister because of manja. In the past also, several people have been injured. Even though manja is banned, it is still available in the market because of rampant corruption. It is difficult to nab the kite flyers, but we hope police and other authorities will clamp down on manja sellers and stop its import. We believe our sister's death will open eyes of the authorities," Darshana and Aparna, sisters of Suvarna.

Pune: Suvarna Manohar Mujumdar (46), a manager with Sakal Media Group (SMG), succumbed on Sunday after being injured with a banned kite flying manja on February 7.

Suvarana, a resident of Kandge Park, Sinhgad Road, was under treatment at a private hospital. She had also undergone surgery. Doctors declared her dead at 7.30 am on Sunday.

Pune city police, which had initially registered an FIR against unidentified persons for offences under section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), has now added two more sections.

The incident had taken place at around 6 pm on Shivaji Bridge near Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Headquarters. Mujumdar and Assistant Manager Manoj Shete (35), both with the advertising and marketing department, were riding their respective two-wheelers while coming from the Sakal head office behind Shaniwarwada to the corporate office at Narveer Tanajiwadi.

"I was driving my bike ahead of her. While passing over Shivaji Bridge, when I looked back for her, I saw her standing on the roadside. I parked my bike and went to see her. She asked me to remove the manja entangled around her neck. I took out the nylon manja. It had ruptured the neck and there was heavy bleeding. I rushed her to the nearby Surya Hospital in an autorickshaw and informed our head office," Shete stated in his complaint.

He further added, "Though I had not seen anyone flying a kite on the bridge, the manja was the same which is used to fly kites." Based on Shete's complaint, Shivajinagar police station had filed a case on February 8 against unidentified persons.

"As the victim has died, now we have added section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304a (causing death due to negligence) of the IPC. We suspect that someone was flying a kite on the riverside and had left the manja unattended. We had detained a few boys for questioning. Further investigations are going on," said Senior Police Inspector Prabhakar Shinde, in-charge of Shivajinagar police station.

The last rites were performed at Vaikunth crematorium around noon. Senior officials and employees from various department of Sakal Media Group and other media houses, besides her friends and family members, were present. A large number of traders and businessmen also attended the funeral.

Suvarna is survived by her father Manohar Mujumdar and sisters Darshana Pardeshi and Aparna Bapat. She had completed primary education from Ahilyadevi School, HSC from Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya's Junior College. Later, she completed graduation from Garware College and worked with two advertising firms. She worked with Sakal Media Group's advertising department for the last 10 years.

"We lost our sister because of manja. In the past also, several people have been injured. Even though manja is banned, it is still available in the market because of rampant corruption. It is difficult to nab the kite flyers, but we hope police and other authorities will clamp down on manja sellers and stop its import. We believe our sister's death will open eyes of the authorities," Darshana and Aparna, sisters of Suvarna.

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