Former Intel India head Avtar Saini killed in cycling accident

Saini's companions rushed him to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival, police said

Avtar Saini (photo: IANS)
Avtar Saini (photo: IANS)


Former Intel India country head Avtar Saini was killed after a speeding cab hit him while he was cycling in Navi Mumbai township of Maharashtra, police said on Thursday.

The accident took place at around 5.50 am on Wednesday, when Saini (68) was out on a ride with fellow cyclists on the Palm Beach Road in Nerul area, some 20 km from his residence in Mumbai, an official said.

The speeding cab hit Saini's bicycle from behind and the driver then tried to escape from the spot with the bicycle's frame wedged under the front wheels of the cab, he said.

Saini's companions rushed him to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival, the official said.

Saini, a resident of suburban Chembur in Mumbai, was credited with working on the Intel 386 and 486 microprocessors. He also went on to lead the design of the company's Pentium processor.

The police registered an FIR against cab driver Rishikesh Khade (23) under various Indian Penal Code sections including 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by doing an act rashly or negligently so as to endanger human life) and 304-A (causing death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide), and provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. The driver has not been arrested, said assistant police inspector Ganesh Jadhav, who is investigating the case.

"At Intel, we are deeply saddened by the demise of former country manager and director Intel south Asia Avtar Saini," said Gokul V. Subramaniam, Intel India president, in a social media post.

"Avtar played a key role in setting up the Intel R&D centre in India. He had a long and illustrious career at Intel from 1982 to 2004 during which he was instrumental in the design of several processors including Intel 386, Intel 486, Pentium and more. Avtar will be remembered as a prolific inventor and outstanding leader and valuable leader," he added.

While cycling enthusiasts lamented the lack of dedicated tracks in Navi Mumbai, one such dedicated cycling lane was being constructed along the Palm Beach road, said a senior civic official without specifying when it will be completed.

Jogging along the Palm Beach road has been banned due to frequent accidents involving joggers, a police official said. Last year, Rajlaxmi Vijay (42), CEO of a tech firm, was killed while on a morning jog when a speeding SUV hit her from behind in south Mumbai's Worli area.

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