• Thane: 16-year-old's family blames builder, no-grilles policy for death of teen

    Rupsa Chakraborty and Sameer AbediMumbaiAug 02, 2017, 19:26 IST

    Jyoti Sharma lived in Mayflower Building, Thane. She was allegedly hanging a towel out to dry when she fell. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

    A 16-year-old girl plunged to her death last night from the 27th floor of a Thane high-rise allegedly while hanging a towel on the balcony. Around 7 pm, Jyoti Sharma, a resident of Mayflower at Hiranandani, Thane, had returned home drenched.

    She changed into dry clothes and wrapped her hair in a towel. Half an hour later, she stepped out onto the balcony to hang the towel on the clothesline, but allegedly lost her balance and fell to her death. None of the flats in the building has a grille in the balcony, her family alleges.

    "She may have slipped on a small step ahead of the balcony. The balcony has a low parapet but no grille," said Sagar Sharma, Jyoti's grandfather. At the time, only her mother and elder sister were at home.

    Jyoti Sharma's flat

    'Can't put up grilles'
    Asked why the family didn't put up grilles on the windows and the balcony, he claimed that the housing society bars residents from doing so. "At Hiranandani, no one is allowed to construct grilles. No balcony has a grille."

    The family had allegedly had a near-mishap a few weeks ago, when Jyoti's elder sister, Ankita, slipped and almost fell out of the balcony while playing with her siblings. Jyoti was the second of three children; the youngest is a 10-year-old boy. "Her mother caught Ankita just in the nick of time," said Kailash Sharma, Jyoti's uncle.

    The spot where her body was found doesn't fall in the line of the CCTV camera fitted, says a security guard

    No CCTV camera at the spot
    The police have prima facie ruled out suicide, but their investigation is likely to hit a wall owing to the absence of a CCTV camera at the spot where Jyoti fell.

    A security guard said there are 16 CCTV cameras in the building, of which three are defunct. "There is a CCTV camera beside where the body fell, but the spot doesn't fall in its path."

    Ganpat Pingle, senior inspector, Chitalsar Manpada police station, said a case of accidental death has been registered and investigation is underway. "As of now, we suspect that she fell while hanging the towel. The balcony has no grille."

    Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and chairman of Hiranandani Group, remained unavailable for comment.
    With input from Faisal Tandel

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