A large number of people not of Malin were in the village when the mudslide struck. They were relatives of villagers and were in Malin for the ongoing paddy sapling plantation season. When the mudslide happened, they were fast asleep after a hard day’s work in the paddy fields.
Dattataray Dhadwad, a 28-year-old farmer of Malin and his wife, are waiting for signs of 18 people who are trapped under the debris. “All these 18 people are relatives from my wife’s side. Her uncles, aunts, their children, their families are all trapped. We know that they are dead, we are waiting for their bodies,” he said.
“Many of the young members of their families don’t live here. They have jobs in other places. But farm labour is very difficult to get here. So all relatives who work outside the village come together here for the rice plantation season. All these people had worked all day Tuesday and were sleeping when the landslide took place. We don’t know when their bodies will be taken out.”
According to many villagers, within an hour of the incident, a large number of people would have gone to the paddy fields that surround the village on either side. “Or the children would have to school or some people would have gone to the weekly market,” says Dhadwad, who owns a small piece of land near the village and also earns money by working in the fields of other farmers.
An elderly woman of Malin village said, “Our relative Nitin Zanjare worked in a factory in Pimpri. He came here for the paddy plantation. He lived with his wife there. When we came to know that Nitin was trapped, I asked one of my relatives to call her and ask her to come. She came today.”
Nitin’s body was taken out of the debris on Thursday morning and identified later.