A 10-year-old girl was the only one among four siblings to live to tell the tale yesterday of how her crazed father hanged his children before using the same method to commit suicide in a Baner flat. Dhanashree, whom her father Chandrashekhar Janardan Ranavare (45) tried to hang using a silk saree, escaped death because the knot in the fabric came loose and she fell to the floor.
Komal (7), Shreyas (4) and Shivam (2) were found dead along with Ranavare in the flat. The incident occurred in the morning at Ramakrishna Apartments on Baner Road. Ranavare first hanged two children in the bedroom, then two in the living room, and finally he hanged himself. Dhanashree, in a state of shock after her lucky escape, alerted the neighbours, who then called the police and her relatives.
Ramakrishna Apartments on Baner Road
Where the incident took place in a second-floor flat; the front door of the
Police Inspector (Crime) S B Navle said Ranavare had a quarrelsome nature, which is why he took the extreme step. "Preliminary questioning of the relatives and the neighbours suggests that he was mentally unstable and severely short-tempered. His wife Varsha had been living with her parents for the last 15 days," he said. "We are, however, exploring other angles and will question more people including the surviving daughter soon."
The children's father, Chandrashekhar Ranavare
Ranavare, who held no job, owned the 1,000 sq ft flat that had two bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen as well as the rest of the three-storey building. There are also two shops in the building on the ground floor, which Ranavare had rented out.
Two-year-old Shivam. Pics/Krunal Gosavi
Family of loners
According to Ranavare's sister-in-law Kavita, the family always kept to itself and was barely in touch with its relatives. "They were having some problems but I never thought it might turn out to be this serious. We rushed from Pimpri the moment we found out. We only saw him when his mother passed away last year," she said.
Shirish Avdhoot, who lives in one of the flats in the building that he had rented from Ranavare, said he and his roommates shared an great rapport with the deceased.
"Never in the last four years did he bother us for rent or any other purpose. He had even convinced us not to leave when we were planning to shift a few months ago," he said. Avdhoot, a working professional, lives with four roommates on the third floor of the building.
A relative of the Ranavares said on the condition of anonymity that the dead man also had an eight-year-old daughter from his first wife. The relative said Ranavare divorced his first wife in 1998. The relative said the first wife and her daughter lived in Phursungi. "His second marriage took place in 2003, but we never thought they might have serious marital problems," said the relative.