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Monday, April 12, 2021

Maharashtra govt announces SIT to probe Delkar death

Delkar was found hanging in a room at Hotel Sea Green South in Marine Drive on February 22.

Written by Sagar Rajput , Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai |
Updated: March 10, 2021 8:40:27 am
Mohan Delkar, Mohan Delkar suicide, who is Mohan Delkar, Lok Sabha MP suicide, Mohan Delkar newsMohan Delkar. (File)

Two weeks after the death of Mohan Delkar, MP from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, in Mumbai, the Marine Drive police on Tuesday registered a case of abetment to suicide against the administrator of the Union territory, Praful Khoda Patel, and six others.

Delkar was found hanging in a room at Hotel Sea Green South in Marine Drive on February 22.

He had left a 15-page suicide note in which he had named Patel, the police said. Officials further said that he had also named the collector and superintendent of police.

The abetment case was registered after Delkar’s son Abhinav made a statement to the police.

“I had come to Mumbai and met the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra. They assured me that they will help in giving justice to my family,” Abhinav told The Indian Express.

The son then went to Marine Drive police station at 5 pm, where his statement was recorded till 10 pm by Assistant Commissioner of Police Pandurang Shinde and an FIR was registered.

The FIR came hours after the Maharashtra government announced in the state Assembly that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) would be set up to probe the suicide.

The announcement came after Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis raised the issue of the death of Mansukh Hiren — whose body was found in a creek days after his vehicle was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house with gelatin sticks and a threat letter inside — in the Assembly, and demanded the arrest of Mumbai Police office Sachin Vaze in the matter.

The Indian Express has learnt from police sources that an FIR was registered under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) and sections of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 have also been added.

Abhinav had earlier spoken publicly about the “constant harassment” meted out to his father and his political supporters by the local administration as the reason for his taking the drastic step to end his life.

The son had also said that he had accessed the suicide note in which the MP had mentioned that he has faith in the Government of Maharashtra, due to which he went to Mumbai and ended his life there.

“My father was aware that if he had to end his life in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, then the suicide note would have vanished and no case would have been registered,” he had said.

Delkar, a seven-term Lok Sabha member, was found hanging in the hotel on February 22. Announcing the SIT, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told the Assembly, “In his suicide note, Delkar has said he was being harassed and was under pressure from Praful Patel, who is the administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.”

Anil Parab, Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Shiv Sena leader, also spoke about Delkar’s death, saying, “While Hiren should get justice, Delkar, who committed suicide, mentioned names in the suicide note. We also make a similar demand in the case of Delkar, and the people mentioned in Delkar’s suicide note should be arrested.”

Fadnavis claimed that Delkar did not mention any name in the suicide note, but only “administrator”. “The administrator does not belong to any political party,” he added.

The House was adjourned eight times due to ruckus.

Deshmukh said that administrator Patel had been a minister in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was CM. “Delkar’s family members have also given me a letter making a similar allegation against the administrator. I announce an SIT for probing the death case of Delkar.”

In the case of Hiren, Deshmukh said, “The ATS is investigating the case. The probe will be carried out professionally and impartially. Nobody will be spared.”

Fadnavis, however, said, “Vaze must be suspended. By saying that the probe will be carried out, you (the government) are allowing him to destroy evidence.” The BJP leader also demanded that the Chief Minister make a statement on the issue in the House.

Shiv Sena legislator Bhaskar Jadhav said that Fadnavis was targeting Vaze as he was the investigator in the Anvay Naik suicide case (in which Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami has been named), which he as CM had “suppressed”.

Deshmukh also accused Fadnavis of suppressing the Anvay Naik suicide case. Fadnavis, however, said, “I openly challenge the government to conduct a probe on my role in suppressing the case.” Amid the chaos, the House was adjourned for the day.

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