Hours after completing 24-year-old Sandesh Dalvi’s last rites on Tuesday, his family members told The Indian Express that he would have been alive had the organisers of the Dahi Handi at Mumbai’s Vile Parle (East) taken adequate safety measures. Dalvi died on Monday after falling from the fifth tier – a height of around 25 feet – of a human pyramid formed to break a clay pot as part of Janmashtami celebrations in Bamanwada.
The Dahi Handi event on August 19 was organized by Riyaz Shaikh, 36, a local leader of the Nationalist Congress Party in Vile Parle. Around 8.30 pm, the Shivshambho Govind Pathak, a group from Chemburkarwadi in Vile Parle (East), was attempting a six-tier human pyramid when two men from the top two tiers fell on the road and suffered head injuries. A video of the incident has since gone viral. Shaikh was arrested by the Vile Parle police on Tuesday on charges of causing death due to negligence and granted bail.
“The organisers should have taken safety measures. A helmet could have saved his life,” Dalvi’s brother Yogesh, a cab driver, told The Indian Express. A police officer from Vile Parle police station concurred. “The safety measures given by the government, which include providing helmets, safety nets and harness were not followed,” the officer said.