EYEWITNESS

"I have been staying in this building for the past three years. On that fateful night we had just returned home around 11.15 and ordered food. Around 12.40 or 12.50, the watchman came screaming up, 'Madam has fallen down; madam has fallen down.' My friends - director B. Menon, Anil Sood and I went running down. When we reached the spot, we noticed Divya lying there in a pool of blood. Divya's maid was sobbing, and a couple was present too. (Later I came to know that they were Shyam and Neeta Lulla). Shyam Lulla got into his car and we lifted a blood-soaked Divya and put her in the back seat.




Anil Sood too got in the car with them. Divya was still breathing at that time and Shyam Lulla asked Anil to keep shaking her.  Divya's maid and Neeta Lulla got into  B. Menon's  car while I followed them in mine. Shyam's car reached Cooper Hospital first. Anil picked her up but she had already stopped reathing. The Cooper doctors tried to revive her by turning her on her stomach, and then pumping her stomach but it was too late.

Around this time Sajid reached the hospital. Say just after five to seven minutes after we reached Cooper.  Initially he didn't know that she was dead,  but the moment the realisation struck him that she was no more he began bawling loudly in a strange way, as if his own life was being sucked out of him. Sajid kept cryingfor nearly an hour and then he suffered a stroke and collapsed.

Meanwhile  B. Menon and Neeta Lulla arrived accompanied by Divya's father and brother Kunaal. On being informed about the tragedy, Divya's distraught father burst into tears and screamed loudly, 'Meri beti maardigayee,meribetimaardigayee.'Hisscreamskeptrenting the air throughout the night. He even banged his head violently on the stretcher on which Divya was lying, and as a result lost his senses.




"It was a dreadful sight ... Sajid was lying in one comer while Divya's father was lying dazed in another, sobbing. (We had to keep holding his arms and legs so that he wouldn't harm himself in any way). We admitted Sajid to the ICU while the doctors sedated Divya'scfathercto calm him down. But even the sedatives could calm him down only for an hour or so.Soon he sat up again and started screaming his lungs out. Kunaal was rushed to find his mother who was untraceable even three hours after the arrived as late asJ.30. She was stunned to see Divya's body, but couldn't bring herself to cry. In a daze she was taken to see Sajid. Numbed, she looked at Divya once again and sat down on the staircase, sunk was more like it.

"In a few minutes Divya's father stirred up and on seeing his wife went berserk. Abusing her loudly, shouting, 'Yeh teri hi kartut hai,' 'tuneyeh kiya hai', he finally lost control and gave her a stinging slap. The doctors and the ward boys, after physically tearing him apart had to resort to tying his arms and legs in a bid to restrain him. The doctors sedated him again and sent Divya's mother home. In the meantime we had called up a few of her industry friends. Govinda was the first to come, followed by Sajid'smother,sisters, Boney Kapoorand Sanjay Kapoor. Around
5.30 in the morning I returned home because it was all over and
there was nothing further one could do."

(ANIL MAINI, Film Financer cum Neighbour of Divya Bharati  who resided  on  the second floor of the building recreated the horrifying midnight drama. )


by
SALEEM SHEIKH