Irfan Bilakhya, who allegedly crashed his Creta on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, killing five persons in the wee hours of Wednesday, is from a well-off business family with interests in the real estate sector.
The car that Bilakhya was driving at the time of the accident has had 52 e-challans issued against it for various violations, of which 35 e-challans are unpaid with a total pending fine of Rs 28,000. Of the 52 e-challans, nine are for overspeeding, including one a few days before the accident, said police sources.
Bilakhya is a real estate developer and his father is a landlord who owns several buildings in Mumbai. They own a construction company with its office in Jogeshwari and have built several buildings in Mumbai over the past few decades. The family owns a building on the Mohamed Ali Road in south Mumbai and lives in the same building.
Irfan stays with his parents, wife and children and younger brother Asif. The family is from Gujarat and have done a lot of charity work through their Sorathiya Muslim Ghanchi Jamat community.
A family member requesting anonymity said, “Irfan has been driving the Creta car for work to our real estate office in Jogeshwari. We took the car a few years back. After the accident he went to Saifee hospital where he was asked to undergo a surgery for an injury on his finger. He then came home to tell his father about the incident. His 65-year-old father Abdul Rahim is a diabetic and unable to walk without help and was shattered after hearing about it.”
The family member further said, “The authorities at the toll plaza are responsible for this accident as they neither barricaded the area after the first accident nor stopped traffic at the bridge…”, and added, “Many of the e-challans are for no-parking as there is a parking issue in our area.”
When The Indian Express approached Irfan’s younger brother Asif, who owns the car involved in the accident, he expressed remorse over the incident. “We felt very bad about the incident. Our deepest condolences are with the family members of the deceased. This is the first time anyone from our family has been involved in such an accident.”
One of the family’s tenants who runs a shop on the ground floor of their residential building said, “I have rented their property for the last 25 years. The news of the accident came as a shock to us. It’s been reported that he may be under the influence of alcohol but I have never seen him drunk. He has a good reputation here and I have never seen him involved in any controversy.”