Behind Sangli suicide of 9: ‘Harassed repeatedly, publicly by lenders’

The Indian Express | 6 days ago | 22-06-2022 | 03:45 am

Behind Sangli suicide of 9: ‘Harassed repeatedly, publicly by lenders’

THERE’S A bunch of policemen. And then there are those two kittens Ranu and Manya.This is all that’s left at the locked house of the “caring” and “animal-loving” family of the local veterinarian Dr Manik Vanmore.On Monday afternoon, the families of Manik (49) and his brother Popat (52) — nine members in all — were found dead in their two houses at Mhaisal village in Maharashtra’s Sangli district in a case of suspected suicide by consuming poison.The reason? Harassment by money lenders “repeatedly and publicly”, “mentally and physically”, according to police, citing two suicide notes. Fifteen persons from the area, who allegedly lent money to the brothers, have been arrested and the police are on the lookout for 10 more suspects.A day later, the entire village is still in shock.The bodies of Manik, his wife Rekha (45), their children Anita (28) and Aditya (15), Manik’s mother Akkatai (72) and Popat’s son Shubham (28) were found at the veterinarian’s house. About a kilometre away, the bodies of Popat, who was an arts teacher at the local school, his wife Sangeeta (48) and daughter Archana (30) were found at their house.“I literally grew up in their home,” said Ashwini Sawant, a close family friend, before breaking down. “All of them were very caring and considered me as one of them. From all the special dishes cooked at their home to all the major events, I have been there. Less than a week ago, I came to their house for a paani-puri party. They were a happy family and loved animals. But I also know that over the past few years, they have been under stress because of debt. But we had never imagined this.”According to a police officer, “the suicide notes suggests that the family wanted to raise a manufacturing unit for steel items and had borrowed money”. “The family had borrowed money from a large number of people, even the compounder working at the veterinary clinic,” the officer said.The police are also probing suggestions that the families were lured into an investment scheme of sorts and lost their money. “Manik uncle used to tell me that they had invested in some scheme and were waiting for high returns, which would pay off the debts and leave them with a large sum. On one of two occasions, they had asked me not to come to their house as lenders had come,” Sawant said, adding that the Vanmores moved to their own homes from their ancestral house six-seven years ago.“We are probing all possible angles in this case,” said Sangli SP Dikshit Gedam.“Just one day before, (Manik’s son) Aditya had come to my house and we chatted as usual. He was good at studies and college activities. We had recently celebrated a friend’s birthday. Nothing seemed off about him or anyone else in their family,” said Sujal Chaundaj, neighbour and Aditya’s classmate.Sudhakar Gaikwad, who owns a grocery store in the neighbourhood, said: “The day before the incident came to light, Dr Manik’s son came to the shop and took a jar of yoghurt saying his father would pay me later. In the evening, his elder sister came and paid the money saying there were no unpaid dues now.”According to Ajay Sindkar, Police Inspector, the Vanmore brothers and other family members had borrowed money on interest from moneylenders. “Although they were paying the interest regularly, the lenders and other accused were repeatedly and publicly harassing them, mentally and physically. The victims ended their lives after the harassment became unbearable,” Sindkar said.“We have sent out teams to Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur and Karnataka to trace and arrest 12 moree accused,” he said.All the arrested so far are Mhaisal residents: Nandkumar Pawar (52), Rajendra Banne (50), Anil Banne (35), Khanderao Shinde (37), Dr Tatyasaheb Chougule (50), Shailesh Dhumal (56), Prakash Pawar (45), Sanjay Bagadi (51), Anil Borade (48), Pandurang Ghorpade (56), Shivaji Kore (65), Rekha Chougule (45), Vijay Sutar (55), Ganesh Bamne (45) and Shubhadra Kamble (46).The police have also invoked the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Maharashtra Money Lending Regulation Act against the accused.But all that is of little consolation for Poonam Chaundaj, the next-door neighbour of Manik and his family. “They loved their cats. Since the deaths, we have tried to give them food but they are not eating.”

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4-Storey Building Collapses In Mumbai, 7 Rescued: Official
Gujarat 2002 cases | Moving key riot trials out to indicting state: What Supreme Court once said and did
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 05:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 05:45 am

Dismissing the appeal by Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri who was killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, against the Special Investigation Team clean chit to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others over allegations of conspiracy in the riots, the Supreme Court, in its judgment three days ago, referred to proceedings being pursued to “keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design” and said “all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law”.The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar underlined that “materials collected during the investigation do not give rise to strong or grave suspicion regarding hatching of larger criminal conspiracy at the highest level for causing mass violence across the State against the minority community and more so, indicating involvement of the named offenders and their meeting of minds at some level in that regard”.Yet it was the Supreme Court which, through hearings and orders over the years, called for “fair and impartial investigation” into the riots cases. Two cases — of the Best Bakery and Bilkis Bano — were moved out of Gujarat to Maharashtra.At one point, the top court even expunged remarks of the Gujarat High Court against activist Teesta Setalvad and others – Setalvad was arrested last Saturday by the Gujarat police, a day after Zakia Jafri’s petition was dismissed.◙ On April 12, 2004, while ordering retrial in the Vadodara Best Bakery case after 21 accused were acquitted, the bench of Justices Doraiswamy Raju and Arijit Pasayat said, “Those who are responsible for protecting life and properties and ensuring that investigation is fair and proper seem to have shown no real anxiety. Large number of people had lost their lives. Whether the accused persons were really assailants or not could have been established by a fair and impartial investigation. 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I did not take any steps even after coming to know that witnesses have been won over by the accused.”Chakravarthi died in 2020.◙ On November 21, 2003, the bench of CJI V N Khare, Justices S B Sinha and A R Lakshmanan stayed trial in 10 major riot cases on petitions seeking an independent investigation into the cases besides shifting of trials outside Gujarat.◙ On August 17, 2004, the bench of Justices Ruma Pal, S B Sinha and S H Kapadia directed that a riot cell be formed under the DGP to reopen cases closed by local police stations, and file quarterly reports.Stating that it would not proceed on the basis “that the entire investigating machinery in the State has failed”, the bench said “there should be further/more extensive and in-depth investigation into cases, numbering 2000, in which ‘A’ Summary Reports have been filed resulting in closure of cases at the threshold and that the State should consider further/extended investigations through its own high ranking officers to which none of the concerned parties (including State of Gujarat) had any objection”.In its order, the bench said, “The Non-Governmental Organizations which have been participating in this entire process, will be at liberty to draw the attention of the Range Inspector General to any particular case within the District of a particular Range Inspector General and the Range Inspector General will consider the same before deciding whether further/fresh investigation or what action, if any, needs to be taken in connection with the FIRs filed. 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Gujarat 2002 cases | Moving key riot trials out to indicting state: What Supreme Court once said and did
2 Arrested For Allegedly Poisoning Of 9 To Death In Maharashtra's Sangli
Ndtv | 6 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 04:42 am
Ndtv
6 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 04:42 am

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2 Arrested For Allegedly Poisoning Of 9 To Death In Maharashtra's Sangli
Crime Branch to reinvestigate rape case in which 2 brothers were wrongfully arrested
The Indian Express | 9 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 12:45 am
The Indian Express
9 hours ago | 28-06-2022 | 12:45 am

THE MUMBAI crime branch has been asked to reinvestigate the rape case in which the Mumbai Police had wrongfully arrested two brothers, who were eventually discharged by the court last week.The Dharavi police had on May 15 arrested the brothers, aged 20 and 19, in connection with the rape of a 19-year-old married woman at her residence. The woman had alleged that two persons had entered her residence and raped her on May 11, based on which an FIR was registered.A senior officer said, “After the botched up investigation by the local police, it was decided to ask the crime branch to investigate the matter afresh.”The officer said that the case is being investigated by Unit V of the Mumbai crime branch. An officer said that the current case is part of nearly 20-25 cases that have been transferred to the crime branch from local police units. “Several crimes registered at local police stations that had not been solved were transferred to the crime branch by the Mumbai Police Commissioner,” said an officer.After their arrest, the family of the two brothers had approached senior police officers with proof that they where present at another place when the rape occurred. Eventually, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Vishwas Nangre Patil intervened in the matter and when he questioned the men, it came to light that they were not involved in the case. Following this, the brothers were released on bail and eventually last week they were discharged by the Banrda court.“We will re-investigate to find out if someone else is involved in the case. We will also record a detailed statement of the woman again,” said an officer from the Mumbai crime branch.

Crime Branch to reinvestigate rape case in which 2 brothers were wrongfully arrested