Pravin Chowgule, a resident of a housing society in Kalwa, allegedly poured kerosene and set himself on fire, police said.
A 27-year-old Maharashtra Navnirman Sena worker allegedly committed suicide in Kalwa on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, with the party claiming that he was “depressed” after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a notice to MNS chief Raj Thackeray in connection with IL&FS scam.
Pravin Chowgule, a resident of a housing society in Kalwa, allegedly poured kerosene and set himself on fire, police said. “Some neighbour saw smoke emanating from his house and heard muffled screams. When the door was broken, Chowgule was found writhing on the floor and was rushed to the Kalwa civil hospital,” an officer from Kalwa police said.
“Chowgule was declared brought dead at the hospital,” the officer said. He had suffered more than 80 per cent burns.
While police did not find any suicide note in the house, they claimed that Chowgule had tried to commit suicide before. “We have responded earlier to the same location, as he had tried to commit suicide and harm himself in the past. However, this is the first time he set himself on fire,” a senior officer said.
Chowgule, who worked as a tour operator at a private firm, was a native of Banpuri in Satara but had settled in Kalwa for sometime. “He used to live alone and seemingly had an alcohol issue. He wouldn’t interact with anyone in the neighbourhood, but had enough friends and co-workers at the MNS office,” a police official investigating the case said. “Since we have not found any suicide note, we have lodged an accidental death report and are investigating into the matter. We are trying to find out what he was doing before immolating himself,” the official said.
According to Thane MNS leaders, however, Chowgule had been active on social media sites late into Tuesday night and was posting and sharing content showing his “anger and resentment” over the ED notice to Raj Thackeray. “It is an extremely sad time for all of us that we lost our friend. He had told his friends that he was sad over the ED notice to MNS leader and the way we were being targeted by the powers that be,” a Thane-based MNS leader said.
“Chowgule’s social media activities show how affected he was. He would always join all of our morchas and other protests and would paint the MNS symbols and flag on his face and body. He was emotionally involved with the cause that MNS stands for and was very close to several of the leaders,” MNS member Sudha Shah said.
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