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Former Intel India head hit by speeding cab while cycling, dies

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NAVI MUMBAI: Avtar Saini, a reputed

chip designer

, who was out on a ride with fellow cyclists, was knocked down and killed by a cab on Palm Beach Road in Nerul on Wednesday. The 68-year-old Saini was former Intel India country head, credited with working on Intel 386 and Intel 486 microprocessors. He went on to lead the design of the Pentium processor.
The incident, coming less than a year since the death of runner Rajalakshmi Vijay on Worli seaface, is another reminder of how unfriendly roads are in Mumbai for cyclists, pedestrians and runners.

Saini, a resident of Chembur, was knocked down between Nerul junction and NRI-Seawoods signal at 5.50 am. He was taken to D Y Patil Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Members of an amateur cyclists group accompanying him said when the cab rammed into Saini’s bicycle from behind, he skidded on road and sustained grievous injuries.
Due to the force of impact, the bicycle frame was wedged under the front wheels of the cab. Its driver attempted to escape, dragging the bicycle under his wheels for a km. Passing motorists chased the cab and intercepted it near the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation headquarters at Belapur.

Satish Kadam, inspector of NRI coastal police, said, “The accused cab driver, Hrishikesh Khade, has been booked for rash and negligent driving causing death. He has not been arrested but served with a notice under provision of CrPC directing him to co-operate in the probe and to remain present in court when a chargesheet is filed. Saini’s body has been sent for postmortem.”
Anwar Sayyed, a member of the

cycling

group, said Saini was an active member of Chembur Amateur Cycling group for 10 years. Praveen Prakash, another member, said Saini’s wife died three years ago. He is survived by his son and daughter who live in US.

Gokul V Subramaniam, Intel India president, said on social media: “At Intel, we are saddened by the demise of former country manager & director Intel South Asia, Avtar Saini. Avtar played a key role in setting up Intel R&D center in India. He had an illustrious career at Intel from 1982 to 2004 during which he was instrumental in the design of several processors.”
Technology analyst & editor of IndiaTechOnline Anand Parthasarathy told TOI: “Saini’s contribution to development of Pentium processor was central to the timely commercial rollout of the chip. Together with Vinod Dham and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Saini formed a unique threesome of Indians who contributed to Pentium.”

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