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A customs officer, who was under suspension for alleged dereliction of duty, was found dead on the railway tracks between Panvel and Kharghar stations early Saturday evening. While the cause of his death is yet to be determined, the police suspect that he committed suicide.
The officer, Rishi Ranjan, was posted as a customs appraiser at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Navi Mumbai. According to the Government Railway Police, a local train motorman spotted his body lying on the tracks at 6.30 am Saturday and notified the railway control room, which then alerted the Panvel station.
An officer at the Panvel police station said Ranjan’s customs ID card helped establish his identity. The 32-year-old got married three months ago and lived with his wife and parents in Kharghar.
Ranjan had been pulled up on July 28, after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) intercepted a container at JNPT with a large amount of imported cigarettes after receiving specific intelligence inputs.
According to the DRI, an examination of the container showed that Ranjan had allegedly only examined four packets, whereas he was required to open and examine at least 10 per cent of the total contents of the container.
According to DRI sources, the container contained 900 packets of cigarettes, valued at Rs 4.24 crore. Three persons were arrested in that raid and Ranjan was placed under suspension on July 29, after prima facie evidence of dereliction of duty.