New Delhi: Lying in bed covered almost completely with a white sheet, Shailesh Shetye, is stirred but not shaken. His unshaven face and dishevelled disposition reflect a sadness at having lost his wife — Kshama Chopra Shetye — and unborn child, but his resolve to fight his “many battles” as he terms it, is as strong as ever.
Suffering from a fractured pelvis embedded with steel rods to keep it in place, unable to sit or move — and likely to remain bedridden for at least the next couple of months — Shailesh is more concerned about his mother-in-law Meena Chopra, than himself.
Meena, is suffering from multiple head injuries, as a result of which her vital signs are not stable. This in turn has prevented doctors from initiating any treatment — even as she fights for her life with each passing moment. Shailesh says his main concern and priority is to see his mother-in-law stable.
“After me, my mother-in-law was the person my wife Kshama loved the most. I have to save her. She has to be saved. Or how will I answer my wife?” he says.
On 5 May, Shailesh, his wife Kshama and his in-laws were returning to Malviya Nagar from Medanta Hospital — following the postponement of Shailesh’s father-in-law Rajendra Chopra’s bypass surgery — when a speeding BMW rammed into their Tata Indigo at IFFCO chowk in Gurgaon.
The collision claimed the lives of the driver, Kshama and the couple’s unborn child.
While Meena is fighting for her life, Shailesh’s father-in-law, albeit discharged from the hospital, is suffering from spinal injuries and is bedridden, just like Shailesh.
It was going to be a weekend when the Shetye couple — Shailesh and Kshama — was expecting to visit the hospital, but little did they know that one of them would end up spending the next few weekends in the hospital and the other would pass away.
In what began as a Saturday that promised temporary respite from Kshama’s father’s heart ailment and incessant rounds of hospitals, Shailesh saw his entire world suspended in a space where he could only watch and do nothing.
“We went to Medanta to discharge my father-in-law and were bringing him back, when the incident occurred,” he told Firstpost. “Our families have many battles to fight, but right now, I just want my mother-in-law to get alright,” he said.
While the college-going prime accused in the case, Suraj Sherawat, is roaming the streets of Gurgaon free — out on bail — Shailesh and his family are confined to the sterilised halls and rooms of Max Hospital, oscillating between life and death, holding on to hope and the support of family and friends.
“My entire family— parents and brother — and Kshama’s entire family — my sisters-in-law and brother-in-law — are all here with us…taking care of each other and themselves. I wouldn’t be where I am and the case would not get as much awareness if it wasn’t for my family and all my friends,” Shailesh told Firstpost, adding: “I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
The police on Monday had filed an application with the court seeking a non-bailable arrest warrant against the student who has been labelled the prime suspect in the case, Maheshwar Dayal, DCP Gurgaon east, told Firstpost.
The police in its application against Suraj also sought that it be granted a warrant of arrest, permission to take his blood sample to be made scientific evidence, the retrieval of clothes that he was wearing at the time and the approval for an identification parade with him.
On the same day, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Jasbir Singh had dismissed the claims of one Rajesh, who last week surrendered before the court saying that he was the driver of the car at the time of the incident.
Following the police’s application to the court, the prime accused presented himself before the Gurgaon District Magistrate Court on Tuesday and was almost immediately granted bail. Suraj Sherawat, the police say according to their investigations, was the driver of the BMW at the time of the accident. He is also the son of real estate dealer Devender Sherawat, under whose name the BMW is registered.
According to police investigations, Suraj and his friend Daksh Jaiswal — who were returning after collecting their exam hall tickets — were in the car at the time of the accident, that killed a pregnant Kshama and the driver of the Indigo. Suraj was believed to be behind the wheel of the BMW at the time, according to Dayal.
Dayal told Firstpost on Wednesday that the police was called after about 20 minutes of the accident and when they landed there the BMW was abandoned. ”We interrogated Daksh and Suraj’s father, but neither cooperated much,” said Dayal.
When Firstpost visited the Sherawat’s home on Wednesday, a servant named Pradeep refused to let us in and said there was nobody at home.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, the court reserved its order on a test identification parade of the accused, sought by the police. The public prosecutor told the court that the special investigation team (SIT) wanted to recover his driving licence, the clothes he was wearing at the time of the accident, his blood sample — to see if they matched those taken from the BMW.
The court, however, rejected these pleas saying it will consider these pleas only after the identity of the accused is established by the victims.
A test identification parade is where the eyewitnesses in the police investigation will verify the identity of the prime accused, in the presence of a Magistrate. But, an order for the same in this case, is yet to be passed.