Many deaths have occurred this week, three big personalities and many common public, but actor Sridevi died of “accidental drowning”, and grabbed headlines. A forensic report has said Sridevi, 54, was under the influence of alcohol and died drowning in bath tub. An autopsy was conducted and the police have handed the report over to the family and the Indian consulate. Before she reaches Mumbai, there are many speculations and theories spreading across the media. The gorgeous actor, often described as India’s first and one and only female superstar and the queen of the 1990s, was best known for her roles in “Sadma”, “Lamhe”, “Mr India”, “Chandni” and “Himmatwala”. A versatile actor known for her impeccable comic timing, she reigned over not just Bollywood, but also the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industry. Anyways, this celebrity death has over shadowed two other major deaths.
TSR Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary of the Union government passed away due to prolonged illness. Subramanian headed an expert committee that submitted a new National Education Policy to the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry. He also headed the Cabinet Secretariat, which is responsible for the administration of the Indian government. The cremation ceremony of Subramanian took place at Delhi’s Lodhi Road crematorium last evening. Subramanian was a 1961 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. He was also posted as Secretary in the Ministry of Textiles. He later also headed several government committees including those on education and environment and was also the author of a number of books.
On Monday morning, Kekoo Nicholson, president of the Cricket Club of India (CCI), passed away at the Global Hospitals. He was 63. A patron of billiards and snooker, Kekoo took personal interest in the development of the Wilson Jones Billiards Room at the CCI, conduct of tournaments and showed a great interest for other sports. He was instrumental in bringing overseas professionals like Jimmy White and Stephen Lee for the Club’s high-profile tournaments. Kekoo had also represented CCI at BCCI meetings and he had expressed hope that the Club would continue to remain as a full member of the BCCI. After conferring the Honorary Life Time Membership to S Kidambi last December, Kekoo told reporters that he would go with the CCI cricket team to Australia and watch the Ashes Test in Sydney. But a life threatening liver ailment confined him to the hospitals.
Meanwhile, there are many other tragic deaths but they are common people of this country and have no name or no value because no one knows them. But their death too is equally painful because BJP minister ran his car over them. This incident happened in Patna; the speeding vehicle, that killed nine school students in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Saturday, belongs to Manoj Baitha, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Sitamarhi district. Baitha was reportedly present in the vehicle at the time of accident, but he along with the driver fled and reportedly went underground after the incident. The news could not get attention because Sridevi’s death was gaining bigger TRP for news channels. The Bihar Police has filed an FIR against Manoj Baitha for the death of nine school children and the parents of the killed children want to see Baitha behind the bars. Shocked villagers staged a protest by blocking the National Highway to demand the arrest of Baitha, who hails from Sitamarhi district.
As we all know, when a common man dies, that to by the people in power corridors, nothing much happens. Maximum is that, some compensation would be given to the families and the death of kids would be forgotten soon. Many such accidental deaths occurred across India on the same day, the day Sridevi died, but again let me remind you, they were not celebrities or Padma awardees.
Sridevi’s untimely death has come as a blow to the entire Bollywood industry and millions of her fans have been offering their condolences to the late actress over social media. Sridevi was at Mohit Marwah’s wedding in UAE where she accidentally drowned in a bath tub. Well-wishers are rushing to Sridevi’s house in Mumbai to be by her elder daughter Jhanvi’s side who couldn’t be in Dubai due to her shooting schedule.
A Padma Shri awardee in 2013, Sridevi, began her career as a child artiste and grew up to be one of the biggest female stars India ever had. In the 1990s, Sridevi’s roles in Chandni, Lamhe, Mr India, Nagina were highly appreciated. Sridevi’s more recent movies were English Vinglish and Mom which was released in 2017.
Dubai Police releases body for embalming, but probe into the death will continue. The Dubai police, backed by state of the art equipment and a forensic laboratory that is comparable to anything in the world, have a first rate investigative record and have resolved crimes often in hours of their occurring.
At this moment there is no crime committed but the police will investigate the circumstances that led to Sridevi’s death by drowning. The first step is to send the forensic report to the public prosecutor’s office which will assess the merit of the case and then decide on further action. And if they believe that there are persons of interest who can shed light on the issue — whether it concerns the alcohol content in her blood or the reason why the bath tub was reportedly full or even why a friend was called by husband Boney Kapoor rather than the hotel doctor and support staff — they will detain and question anyone they feel can shed light on how she drowned. There is no guilt or suspicion and it is only procedure and the answers may well clear the air. If there is even a shred of doubt or a grey area, they will not allow people to leave the country. The police probe is mutually exclusive from the medical report and the body’s release has no bearing on the police taking further steps.
Meanwhile, Indian media’s feeding frenzy and the premature conclusion that she died of a cardiac arrest is what has led to the confusion. It would be better to just let the police in Dubai get on with their task and till then a freeze on guesswork would be appropriate.
RIP all those passed away, condolences to all those who are in pain.
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