Mumbai: Did lingerie businessman Harshad Thakkar go missing from Rajasthan?

Nov 02, 2018, 07:30 IST | Anurag Kamble

Harshad Thakkar had made last call to spiritual guru in Jodhpur; guru tells police that businessman never arrived despite saying he would

Mumbai: Did lingerie businessman Harshad Thakkar go missing from Rajasthan?
Harshad Thakkar left a note behind, asking for his shares to be handed over to the company

It's been a month since businessman Harshad Thakkar went missing from his office in Dadar, and the police still have no clue about his whereabouts. The only lead they have is a call to his spiritual guru on the day of his disappearance — October 2. Depressed over financial losses, Thakkar had said he was going to visit his guru in Rajasthan. Thakkar, 42, chairman and managing director of lingerie company Ashapura Intimates Fashion, had been battling plummeting share prices in the stock market since September, which led to heavy losses for the company and its investors.

Godman was an investor
One of these investors was his guru, identified by the police solely as 'Sharmaji'. On October 25, a team from Dadar police went to Jodhpur to record the guru's statement, in which he claimed that Thakkar had indeed spoken to him on the evening of October 2 and said he was coming to Rajasthan. However, according to guru Sharma, Thakkar never made it to the ashram.

"During inquiry, the guru told us that Thakkar had first met him three years ago for consultation. At the time, he was financially prosperous. Six months ago, Thakkar had asked the guru to buy shares in his company. In September, the godman found out that the company was doing badly, and had called Thakkar, who assured him that the business would recover," said an officer from Dadar police.

Harshad Thakkar lived at Sarvodaya Heights in Mulund with his wife and son
Harshad Thakkar lived at Sarvodaya Heights in Mulund with his wife and son

Leaving his office on October 2, Thakkar received a call from the godman. "The guru, who had bought some shares in Thakkar's company, called to say that he needed money to undergo angioplasty at a south Mumbai hospital. To this, Thakkar said he was in financial trouble, and would visit his ashram in Rajasthan personally to discuss the matter," said another officer.

Cops tracked Thakkar's last location to Sayani Road in Parel West, after which his cell phone was switched off. "Footage from a CCTV camera at Thakkar's office building shows him walking out alone and taking a left turn. After that, we don't know whether he boarded a vehicle," said Diwakar Shelke, senior police inspector at Dadar police station.

His state of mind
On the day of his disappearance, the beleaguered businessman had called an urgent meeting at his Dadar office, despite it being a public holiday (for Gandhi Jayanti). "He was picked up from Mulund by his childhood friend, Dinesh Sodha," said an officer, adding, "There were five people in the meeting, including Thakkar. During the meeting, they discussed how to stem the losses. While the meeting was on, some investors also turned up at the office, asking about their money."

"When Thakkar finished the meeting around 5 pm, he met some of the investors and assured he would return their money soon. He then told his directors that he was going to Ahmedabad for some work and would return in a couple of days," added the officer.

The lingerie bizman left a note behind, stating that he hadn't cheated anyone and never will. Surprisingly, he asked that his shares and insurance policy be handed over to the company, to make up for the losses. This, despite the fact that he has a wife and son. His family registered a missing complaint at Dadar police station on October 8. When mid-day tried to contact his wife, Darshana Thakkar, she said only: "I don't know what to say about this, sorry."

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