Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) Renowned industrialist Cyrus P. Mistry of the multinational Shapoorji Pallonji Group and a former Tata Sons Chairman – was killed in a road accident on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai national highway in Maharashtra’s Palghar on Sunday afternoon, stunning the country.
Mistry, 54 is survived by his wife Rohiqa Chagla, their two sons Firoz and Zahan, an elder brother Shapoor Mistry and other family members.
Also killed in the accident was Jehangir D. Pundole, of the famed aDukes’ soft drinks and foods company and the Pundole Art Gallery in Mumbai.
Another couple in the vehicle – Jehangir’s brother, Darius D. Pundole and wife Dr. Anahita Darius Pundole – have been critically injured and rushed to Rainbow Hospital in Vapi in south Gujarat), said an official of Palghar police.
Mistry’s abrupt death comes barely two months after his father, Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, the Chairman Emeritus of the Group, passed away, aged 93, in Mumbai on June 28.
Taking serious cognisance, the state government has ordered a probe into the incident that stunned the corporate world.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who handles the home portfolio, said he has spoken to the Director General of Police Rajnish Sheth and ordered a detailed investigation into the incident.
According to Palghar Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil, the accident took place on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai national highway, around 3.15 pm, barely a couple of hours’ drive from Mumbai.
“Of the four persons in the Mercedes car, two – (Mistry and Jehangir Pundole) – were declared dead instantly and two others (Darius and his wife Dr. Anahita Pundole) who were injured critically, have been rushed to Rainbow Hospital in Vapi,” Patil told media persons.
As per eyewitnesses’ claims, Dr. Anahita Pundole – a medico with the Breach Candy Hospital – was driving the car.
Palghar police officials have provisionally treated it as an accident, saying that Mistry and the Pundoles apparently became victims of “over-speeding” as the car hit with full force a highway divider on the river Surya flowing along the national highway near Charoti, around 105 kms north of Mumbai.
The impact of the crash was so powerful that although the car’s airbags were deployed, they failed to save the occupants – killing two and injuring two others – and the dark-grey Mercedes was left badly damaged.
The tragedy apparently proved to be a double loss for the Pundole brothers (Jehangir and Darius) whose father Dinshaw passed away last week, and they had gone to perform the post-funeral rites in Udwada, a coastal town in south Gujarat, though details are not available.
Mistry was the 6th Chairman of Tata Group and only the second non-Tata family person to head the conglomerate.
He held an Irish passport on account of his mother, (who was Irish national with Indian origins), and after acquiring his OCI, he was a permanent resident of India.
The news which broke on a Sunday after as people celebrated Ganeshotsav, emitted shockwaves in Indian corporate and political circles and many reacted with initial disbelief this afternoon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari expressed grief and shock over the tragedy and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said Mistry’s demise is a loss not only to his family but also the country’s industrial world.
Nationalist Congress President Sharad Pawar, Congress state and central leaders, Shiv Sena leaders and other top politicians have condoled Mistry’s demise.
NCP MP Supriya Sule expressed shock at the incident on Twitter. “Devastating News My Brother Cyrus Mistry passed away. Can’t believe it. Rest in Peace Cyrus.”
Other union and state ministers, senior leaders from Bharatiya Janata Party, the corporate world in India and abroad have grieved Mistry’s death.