In the hope of getting a last glimpse of Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, the spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohras, 15 people from Mumbai, two from Pune and one from Rajasthan lost their lives in the stampede that ensued at Saifee Mahal in Malabar Hill at 1.30 am on Saturday.
Incidentally, all those dead were males, including two 15-year-old boys.
Husain Jawadwala (15), a resident of Nalasopara, had visited Syedna’s residence with his family to get a “deedar”. “When the stampede broke out, everyone separated and later he could not be located,” his aunt said. Husain, an SSC student studying in Class X, was later found dead. His mother, Fatema Jawadwala, has been inconsolable since her son’s body was not returned by the hospital for a long duration. “We have been waiting in hospital since 2.30 am, and till now, his body has not been returned. It will only be returned after Syedna’s burial,” the aunt said at 11.30 am on Saturday in Saifee Hospital.
Another deceased, 29-year-old Aamir Kalolwala from Pune, had come down to Mumbai on Friday morning with his father and two acquaintances to take a look at the departed leader. “When the confusion began, his father could not trace him. Later, we were called to identify his body,” said Oni Kalolwala, Aamir’s uncle. His relatives live in Mazgaon and his funeral will be conducted in Mumbai itself. Aamir was the only son of his parents and worked in a multi-national company called WNS Limited. “He was the sole breadwinner in the family,” said Quaid Najmi, his relative. His two relatives came on a two wheeler to state-run JJ hospital to claim the body.
Amongst those dead, five people were senior citizens. Saifuddin Sapatwala (74) was the oldest person who died during the stampede. “He had gone to Saifee Mahal with his wife. Since he is very old, he could not get a control of himself and was trampled by the crowd,” said Hozefa, a relative.
Saifuddin owned a paints shop in Byculla and resided in Bhendi Bazaar. His wife escaped unharmed.
Abdul Jawadwala (20) from Indore had a lucky escape. “I was balancing myself on the wall along the road to get a clear view when I fell off and injured my legs and hand. Thankfully, I was at a bit away from the point where the stampede broke out,” he said. His friend Mufaddal, who had also climbed on the wall, said emotions ran high amongst community members and people were adopting various means to get a last glimpse of Syedna.
Currently, of the 46 injured, five are admitted in Saifee Hospital while 41 have been discharged. Those injured escaped with minor abrasions.