At about 2.30 am on Thursday, Lata Pathare woke up and realised that her husband Ravindra, who was initially lying next to her, wasn’t around. She began searching for him and soon found him outside, hanging from a tree.
“I was shattered and shocked. It was horrible and extremely scary. I screamed out and my daughter, son and mother-in-law came out. Some locals called the police. Cops took him to Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle, just 15 min away, but he was declared brought dead,” Lata recalled. Ravindra is survived by his wife, two daughters of 14 and 12 years of age, and a son who is 10. The 47-year-old cobbler committed suicide outside his shop at Khira Nagar, Santacruz (West). Though the deceased has not left a suicide note, the family alleges that a local builder used to harass Ravindra to vacate his shop.
Hoping against hope
“Since the last six months, local politicians and the builder’s goons have been harassing us so that we leave this shop. This shop is our source of livelihood and our home. Where do we go from here?” Lata lamented. Investigating officer Vilas More of Santacruz police station said, “It seems that he has committed suicide. However, the reason is not clear. We are investigating the matter from all angles.” When contacted, Vijay Abnave, vice-president of a cobblers’ association, said, “Due to increasing construction, and big buildings and malls coming up, cobblers have to suffer the most. We will take this issue forward and support Pathare’s family till the end.”