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Debt, depression drive 2 to suicide

A painting contractor based in Bhandup burnt himself to death last Tuesday as he was apparently under threat from a moneylender whom he had been unable to repay.

According to the police, Santosh Babu Pawar had borrowed some money from Chhotu Inamdar earlier. Since Pawar had not been able to pay off the loan amount, Inamdar landed at his place on Tuesday evening with four goons to threaten him and recover the dues.


Destitution and despair: Santosh Pawar, who burnt himself to death at this Bhandup residence over non-payment of loans; Eknath More, who was suffering from depression and hanged himself at his Mulund house. Pics/Siddharth Dhadve

The victim’s father Babu Pawar said, “Five people had visited our house on Tuesday to attack my son. Scared for his life, he asked his mother to deal with the situation. But soon after, he set himself afire. He ran for about 100 metres, flailing in the fire. We were shocked. We tried our best to douse the flames and took him to a nearby hospital, but he was declared dead.”

Senior Police Inspector Shrirang Nadgauda from Bhandup police station said, “The deceased had taken up a painting contract in Powai from an unidentified contractor. He had taken a loan from Chhotu Inamdar to buy painting material. Since Pawar didn’t get the payment from the first party, he couldn’t repay Inamdar.”

Unable to handle the pressure, Pawar committed suicide, the inspector added. The unidentified contractor and Inamdar and his goons have been booked under sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance) of the Indian Penal Code.

In another incident on Thursday, 40-year-old Eknath Raghunath More, an agent for clearing and forwarding goods on ships who could not find any work, hanged himself at his Mulund residence.

According to police officials, More was suffering from depression and had been receiving treatment at Sarthi Hospital. “The victim had been talking of his desire to die for over two months to his wife. As the routine assignments he used to get had stopped, he was sitting idle and running losses,” said
an officer from Mulund police station.

More committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan in the kitchen while his family was asleep. His 12-year-old son first spotted his body when he woke up to get ready forschool. More’s body was sent to Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead due to asphyxia. 

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