Mumbai police find ‘remains’ of man missing since August 13

Death foxes police: Was he killed, had an accident or committed suicide?

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai | Published:September 4, 2016 1:39 am
Raghunath Thakur. A missing persons complaint was registered at the Kanjurmarg police station on August 13, after Raghunath Thakur did not return home.

A SHIRT, an Aadhaar card and the torso of a 31-year-old man who had been reported missing earlier last month were found nearly a kilometre away from his Vikhroli residence on Tuesday. The case has foxed the Mumbai Police. While they have registered a case of murder based on the postmortem report of Raghunath Thakur, they are not sure if the 31-year-old, who got married three months ago, was killed by someone or died due to an accident or committed suicide. As far as the leads go, all three options seem highly likely, according to the investigators in the case.

A missing persons complaint was registered at the Kanjurmarg police station on August 13, after Thakur did not return home.

Thakur, who worked at a xerox shop in Ghatkopar, left for work along with his wife around 8.30 am on August 13. He worked at the xerox shop, where his elder brother also works, till 3.30 pm and then took a lunch-break. After having lunch, he left the xerox shop to have pan masala from a nearby shop around 4 pm and that was the last anyone saw him. After he did not return home till late night, his worried wife and elder brother approached the Kanjurmarg police station.

After 18 days, on Tuesday, police received a call about an unidentified body in the bushes off the JVLR, nearly a kilometre away from Thakur’s residence. “The body was only skeletal remains,” an officer said. The police found a shirt lying nearby and in its breast-pocket a wallet was found. The wallet contained an Aadhar card which was in the name of Thakur. The family members were contacted and they identified the wallet and the shirt to be that of Thakur.

The Kanjurmarg police registered a murder case based on the postmortem report that identified a blow from a blunt object on the head of the victim as the probable cause of death. “ He got married nearly two months ago and the couple resided with his elder brother and sister-in-law at Vikhroli. We took the statements of the family members and there was nothing suspicious,” said a crime branch officer. Even at his workplace, there was no one with whom Thakur was known to have enmity.

While the police have not found any motive behind the murder, the theory that Thakur could have committed suicide started gaining ground after the police recorded Thakur’s sister’s statement. “Thakur had visited his sister’s residence a day before he went missing. His sister said that he was stressed about the fact that he was not earning enough. He told his sister that his salary of Rs 8,500 was not enough, now that he was married,” said an officer.

The fact that his shirt was found, away from his body, has made the police suspect that he may have used his shirt to hang himself from a tree branch at the isolated spot. “His body was in a bad condition and the dogs may have played havoc with it,” said the officer.

Another theory that the police are not discounting is the fact he may have fallen and hit his head on the ground. “The terrain where his body was found is extremely slippery. However, the question is why he would come to this isolated spot in the middle of a workday,” said the officer.