As fate would have it, a 35-year-old businessman who had gone missing over a month ago and was about to end his life, was saved twice by the timely arrival of two Mumbai police teams that were in Gujarat just to investigate this case.
According to sleuths from the Matunga police station, Lalit Bhemchand Jain residing in Akash Kunj, Sion (West) ran a scrap collection shop on Telang road in Matunga. He had taken loans from relatives and ended up gambling to pay off his debts. Lady Luck did not favour him and his dues rose to Rs 30 lakh. Unable to face his relatives, Jain dropped his son and daughter to school on August 29 and disappeared. When he was not reachable on his phone and he failed to return till late in the night, his wife informed the Matunga police. On October 5, Jain called his wife saying that he was in trouble and his mobile was switched off thereafter.
Based on his last call, investigating officers traced Jain to Himatnagar in Gujarat and on Wednesday, two teams reached the area and began a search. He was finally traced to Shree Samarth Ramji Hindu Sarvajanik Dharamshala in Himatnagar. He was not in his room at the ashram and while one team waited there, the other team scoured the area.
Ironically, Jain, who was about to jump off a bridge, spotted the other team and fled. He rushed back to his room, where the other team detained him.
“After his call to his wife on October 5, we formed a team and started tracing his last known location and learnt he was in Himatnagar. We inquired at hotels, ashrams and dhabas in area and finally managed to trace him with the help of a waiter,” said Ravindra Khandagale, assistant commissioner of police, Matunga division.
“We were aware that Jain was somewhere nearby, but we were also afraid that he might have fled to some other location,” said Anant Jadhav, sub-inspector of Matunga police station.
“When we inquired as to why he had left his family and had started staying in the ashram, he said he was in debt and had decided to end his life. He said he was about to jump from a bridge in Himatnagar when he saw the police and fled. He also said he rushed back to his room to hang himself, but we caught him in time,” said Jadhav.
Jain has not been booked as he currently has no cases filed against him and his case was being handled as a missing person case. Police are considering sending Jain for counselling.