MUMBAI: A 70-year-old woman, Manjula Jha, from Virar (west) who was reported missing on Wednesday morning was found dead beneath a fallen tamarind tree. Jha was missing after she went to drop her grandson at school and planned to visit a nearby temple.
The police, along with the fire brigade personnel and the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), reached the spot soon after the tree fell and began pruning the branches that had fallen on a house.But the presence of a body beneath the tree was noticed on Friday due to the foul smell. A resident of Rishabh Tower in Padmavati Naga, Jha lived with her son. On the day of her disappearance, she left at around 6.20am. Her family searched for her and filed a missing person complaint with the Arnala police when she failed to return a few hours later.
During the search, locals mentioned seeing Jha plucking flowers along the roadside, and she is believed to have moved to a plot where a large tamarind tree stood. Unfortunately, at around 6.45am on the same day, the tree fell, with some of its huge branches damaging the wall and tinned roof of an adjacent ground plus one storey house. The occupants of the house, who were inside at the time of the incident, ran out on hearing the sound but did not notice anyone trapped underneath the tree.
The police, along with the fire brigade personnel and the NDRF, reached the spot and began pruning the branches that had fallen on the house. Initially, no one expected to find Jha beneath the tree, and the search for her continued. On Friday morning, as the rescuers were cutting the branches and trunk, they noticed a foul smell. Upon moving towards the direction of the smell, they discovered Jha’s body underneath the branches. It took the rescuers over an hour to retrieve her body, which has been sent for an autopsy.