The Dahi Handi celebrations turned sour for the family of 29-year-old Ganesh Anant Patil who died of head injuries during the festivities Sunday. According to sources, a pole fell on Patil’s head when he was trying to tie a rope to hang the handi.
Patil’s death comes despite local police circulars asking Govindas to follow safety precautions and wear helmets and safety belts. Patil was a resident of Digashi village in Sindhudurg. On Sunday, he was in Bhiwandi to participate in the Dahi Handi celebrations. He was reportedly tying a rope between a tree branch and a pole when the pole fell on his head.
The accident took place at 10.05 am. Patil was taken to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. An accidental death report was filed at the Ganeshpuri police station. “The pole accidentally fell on him when he was sitting on a tree branch tying the rope’s knot,” said a police officer.
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Patil had got married two years ago, and has a seven-month-old son.
The city, meanwhile, witnessed a subdued Dahi Handi celebrations with lesser injuries as compared to last year. In 2014, 360 Govindas were reportedly injured. According to the disaster management cell, a total of 129 Govindas were injured while forming human pyramids, of which 116 were discharged while 13 others continue to remain in hospitals.
“All Govindas are stable,” said Mahesh Narvekar, the disaster management cell chief.
One Gopal Kokade sustained injuries in his limbs when he was attempting to climb a seven-tier high pyramid to break the handi in Saath Rasta area in Mumbai. He is now recuperating at Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central. “We were very careful and slow in the process of forming the pyramid. Such accidents can happen in any group,” said Kokade’s friend who did not wish to be named.
The injured were taken to Sion, KEM, Nair, St George, JJ, Gokuldas Tejpal, Rajawadi and Shatabdi hospitals. According to Sion hospital’s dean Dr Suleman Merchant, Govindas sustained mostly head injuries and fractured limbs. In the evening, one Ramdas Malvi (28) from Dharavi was admitted to Sion hospital for an ankle fracture.