Warm words for Londonderry man killed in Indian crash

Raj Bacheta pictured with his wife, Mary
Raj Bacheta pictured with his wife, Mary

Tributes have been paid to a father of three from Londonderry who was killed in a car crash in India.

Rajesh Bacheta, from the Waterside, died in the collision which took place in the Rajasthan region in the north-west of the country at the weekend.

Mr Bacheta’s sister, Neelam, who lives in London, was also killed in the crash.

Both Mr Bacheta’s eldest daughter, Sophie – a former pupil of Lumen Christi College in Londonderry – and his mother were injured in the collision and are understood to be in intensive care in hospital in the city of Ajmer which is about 85 miles from the state capital Jaipur.

Mr Bacheta – known as Raj – worked at the Premier Inn in Londonderry and his wife, Mary, is the principal of Chapel Road Primary School.

Mrs Bacheta (nee Crumlish) is originally from Kinnego Bay in Inishowen.

It is understood the Bachetas were visiting family in north-west India when the accident occurred.

Described by friends as “one of life’s true gentlemen,” Raj Bacheta, originally from London, had lived in Londonderry for more than 20 years.

Prior to working for Premier Inn, he worked at First Source in the city.

Among those paying tribute to him was retired hospital consultant, Kanwar Panesar.

Writing on social media, Dr Panesar said: “Saddened and shocked to hear about the sad and tragic passing away of Raj and Neelam.”

Friends, from both Londonderry and London, also paid tribute to Mr Bacheta.

One wrote: “I was lucky enough to call Rajesh Bacheta my friend. He will be sorely missed.

Another said: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to know Raj.”

Mr Bacheta is survived by his wife, Mary, and children Sophie, Kala and Dhillon.