A RATION SHOP owner committed suicide in Bhiwandi last week and reportedly named the editor and publisher of a localnewspaper in his suicide note for allegedly extorting money and defaming him in an article.
The deceased, Dattu Bhandari (52), committed suicide by hanging in his home in Padgha village on October 7, days after the weekly Satya Kaamna newspaper ran an article alleging irregularities at his fair price shop.
The police said that Bhandari left a note behind in which he named the newspaper’s editor Tukaram Patil, publisher Navnath Chaudhary and a Padgha resident for defaming and tarnishing his reputation and driving him to take his life.
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According to an officer at Padgha police station, the two accused and the local resident had approached Bhandari in September. “The accused claimed that Bhandari was indulging in unfair practices and threatened to expose him. They demanded Rs. 5 lakh from the deceased in order to not print an article detailing their allegations.”
The officer added that when Bhandari refused to pay them, the newspaper published the article in its edition on October 3. The police said the article spread rumours about Bhandari’s business. The men have been booked with alleged abetment to suicide, extortion and printing defamatory content and criminal intimidation. No arrests have been made so far, the police said.