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Railway police to look into British Pakistani's death

By Marcellus D'Souza, IANS

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The case relating to the death of a British Pakistani assisting filmmaker Kaizad Gustad was Tuesday transferred to railway police after it was revealed that she was hit by a train here.

Nadia Khan, 27, was knocked down by a suburban train at Mahalaxmi station May 25 even though the crew of the film "Mumbai Central" maintained for almost a week that she was hit by a truck.

The Tardeo police station transferred the case to the Mumbai Central railway police after some crewmembers as well as Gustad confessed that it was a train tragedy.

"We have found blood stains on the tracks," a senior official at the Tardeo police station said.

Darpan Athavle, an eyewitness, said: "She was speaking on the mobile and had gone nearly 50 metres north of the station when a train coming from behind hit her. She fell on the side of the tracks, with the camera on her."

Line producer Ashish Udeshi had rushed Khan to the Nair Hospital in Gustad's car. The hospital authorities were told a truck had hit her.

She was first admitted to the casualty ward and then the surgical ward before being declared dead by a doctor.

Udeshi registered a similar complaint with the Tardeo police station, stating that a truck in Mahalaxmi knocked down Khan.

According to police, the complaint states that "Khan had got off her vehicle and was trying to cross the road in order to buy something when the vehicle hit her". The complaint was registered under Sections 379 (rash driving) and 304 (A) (negligent driving) of the IPC.

On Monday, however, Gustad led a team of senior police officials to the spot where Nadia Khan was actually knocked down and admitted to police that his unit had filed a false complaint.

"He said his unit members Udeshi and Hadley D'Mello didn't want to delay Khan's admission to hospital," said deputy commissioner of police A.R. Dongre.

"Udeshi and D'Mello were scared and decided on the way to the hospital that they would say it was a road mishap as a railway accident means the clearing of many formalities. They possibly took the decision themselves and were not directed to do so," Dongre said.

Udeshi, in a statement to the Tardeo police, said: "We lied because we were scared that Nadia would die before being admitted to hospital".

"Had we told the hospital, it was a railway accident case, the admission procedure at the hospital would have become more complicated," Udeshi said.

According to Shailendra Kumar, an official of Western Railway: "Railway rules for shooting on its premises are clear that safety and security of crew members is the lookout of those who have requisitioned the shoot."

"The Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel given for shoots are responsible only for the safety of railway property," he added.

"Gustad had been given permission to shoot on the rail line that leads into the Mahalaxmi Yard, a line used sparingly, and not where the accident took place," he said.

"Since Gustad was shooting near the fast line to Churchgate, a heavy-density track, in contravention to our rules, we will consider forfeiting his deposit and his permission to shoot will not be renewed," said Shailendra Kumar.

News of Khan's death reached her parents after Hema Deora, with whom she was staying, was told of the incident by Jackie Shroff's wife Ayesha. Deora then telephoned Khan's parents in London.


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