Locals said the 45-year-old couldn’t take the humiliation that followed the arrest of the Kalyan juvenile for gang rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman last week
A week after a 16-year-old boy in Kalyan was arrested for allegedly gang-raping and murdering a woman, his father committed suicide on Sunday, unable to bear the shock of the news and the public taunts that followed.
When mid-day visited the 45-year-old on April 20, he was visibly upset about his son’s arrest. Pic/Satej Shinde
The news of the crime had shocked many in Kalyan, not the least because the attack on the woman was led by a minor, who had also led the gang in other cases of murder and assault. However, as per the law, the identity of juvenile suspect is not to be released to the public. Despite this, local residents somehow discovered the truth.
In fact, a few days after the arrest, the juvenile court even pulled up the investigating officer, Assistant Police Inspector Dinesh Sonawane from Khadakpada police station, and asked him how the identity of the minor was leaked.
Locals told this reporter that the minor’s father had been under great stress, with several people taunting him about his son or simply expressing their horror over the crime. Moreover, as this paper had reported last week, Crime Branch officials wanted the boy to be tried as an adult due to the heinous nature of his crimes. The pressure got to him and on Sunday afternoon, he hanged himself at his home in Milind Nagar, Kalyan (W).
A close friend of the family told mid-day, “He was extremely upset and believed that his son would never get out of jail, as there were reports that his son was going to be tried as an adult under the new Juvenile Justice Act. This worried him a lot, and since the last two days, he couldn’t come out of that shock and was continuously drinking alcohol.”
API Sonawane said, “He committed suicide on Sunday afternoon, when the family was out for work and he was alone. With the help of a nylon rope, he hanged himself from the ceiling fan. We are waiting for his post-mortem reports to check whether he was under the influence of alcohol. We have registered an accidental death case for now.”
“During the investigation, we found that he had not been well since a few months and had also been admitted a few days ago. Also, his son was arrested by the police in the recent murder and rape case, which would have caused stress. But we didn’t find any suicide note or any other detail to prove this,” he added.
His body was found by his family, who took him to Rukminibai Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. The family friend said the family used to earlier reside at Yogidham but shifted to Milind Nagar recently.
The deceased 45-year-old had two sisters, both of whom work as domestic help and also make country liquor to eke out a living. The arrested minor, who is currently being held at the Bhiwandi remand home, was escorted to his father’s last rites on Monday.
On April 20, this reporter had visited the residence of the minor accused and spoke to his father, who was depressed. “I could not believe my son was involved. But when the police visited our home for a house search, they took out a laptop kept in the bag by my son. That laptop had been robbed and this was confirmation about my son’s involvement,” the father had said.
On April 14, the gang broke into an apartment in Kalyan and killed a 22-year-old girl after the minor gang member raped her. The accused also stole her mobile phone and jewellery worth Rs 1.6 lakh. Later, the minor used the same phone to call his girlfriend. The police tracked down the girl and, through her, the minor and his gang members — Nitin Wagh (19), Nitesh alias Nitya Bhagwan Bhoir (20) and Ravindra alias Ravi Wagh (20).