Suspended mines official ends life

PONDA: The Irongate claimed its first victim on Friday as 54-year-old assistant geologist, Dattatray Bhave, who had recently been suspended for his alleged involvement in the mining scam, committed suicide by hanging himself from a rafter of his Ponda residence early in the morning. His body was later consigned to flames late Friday evening at the Ponda crematorium.

A family source informed that the deceased participated in the Ganesh festivities late Thursday night for the immersion of Ganesh idol and committed suicide early Friday morning -- between 5.30 to 6.30 a.m. The police were informed at around 7.30 a.m.

Mr Bhave is survived by his wife, a daughter and son Mr Vallabh Bhave.

"It was very shocking to see Dattatray Bhave hanging from the rafter of his house in the morning after he participated in the Ganesh festivities," the family source said.

The deceased originally hailed from Shave-Valpoi in Satari taluka and had done his MSc in applied geology.

The police rushed to the site and took custody of the body and sent it to the Goa Medical College for postmortem.

The family source informed that the deceased was supposed to go to Vengula, Maharashtra to collect his son Mr Vallabh Bhave who had gone there to celebrate the Ganesh festival with his uncle. He said his daughter had just completed her engineering studies while the son is studying in second-year engineering course at the Goa Engineering College.

The North Goa superintendent of police, Mr Vijay Singh, the deputy superintendent of police, Mr Dinraj Govekar and other police officials visited the residence of the deceased.

The deputy collector, Ponda, Mr Johnson Fernandes, who is investigating the case, told reporters that the deceased committed suicide due to frustration and further investigations are in progress.

No suicide note has been found.

Dattatray Bhave was suspended along with five others for his alleged involvement in the mining scam. His suspension order was passed on September 10 by the director of mines, Mr Prasanna Acharya.

The body was consigned to flames amidst heartrending scenes as family members were inconsolable. Hundreds of people turned up to pay their homage to the deceased. The PWD Minister, Mr Ramkrishna Dhavalikar, the Ponda MLA, Mr Lavoo Mamledar also paid tributes to the deceased.

A family member, who didn’t want to be named, informed that Dattatray Bhave was a simple and hardworking man.

He used to travel by bus and was frequent on the Kadamba shuttle service. He used to carry food from home and was very attached to his wife and children and wanted to give them the best.

The family member claimed that Dattatray Bhave had wrongly been implicated in the mining scam. He could not take the shock and embarrassment of being suspended when he was innocent.

A case of unnatural death has been registered and further investigations are in progress.