A 30-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the third floor of a building in Pimple Gurav during a demolition drive against illegal constructions by officials of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
While the woman’s death triggered protests from local residents, the PCMC stuck to its guns and said the drive would continue in all parts of the industrial city.
The incident took place while civic officials, along with police, were conducting the drive on Tuesday morning. Officials reached Devkar Park area around 11 am and started conducting a primary inspection of local buildings.
The woman, identified as Devibai Ram Pawar, was in one of the buildings being inspected by civic officials. She went up to the fourth floor of the building and jumped, said police. Pawar sustained multiple serious injuries and succumbed to them during treatment at a hospital.
“Primary probe shows that it is a case of suicide… to avoid demolition of the illegal building. However, we will continue our investigation and record statements of various witnesses,” said Senior Inspector Ajay Chandkhede of Sangvi police station.
The area remained tense and police had to deploy additional force to bring the situation under control.
Earlier, during a similar drive in the area, a resident had threatened self-immolation.
“Despite taking all the precautions, like ensuring that nobody is present in the building when demolitions are undertaken, the incident took place… it was unfortunate,” Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said.
When asked whether the PCMC was going to slow down its demolition drive, Hardikar said, “We have undertaken the drive as per an order by the Bombay High Court. The drive will continue in Pimple Gurav and other parts of Pimpri-Chinchwad…”.
On allegations that the civic body was “targeting” Pimple Gurav, where BJP’s city unit president Laxman Jagtap hails from, Hardikar said they were false as the civic body had undertaken the drive across the city.