Ex-Merces sarpanch dies of gunshots at home

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NT NETWORK
Panaji
Former sarpanch and incumbent panch member of the village panchayat of Merces Prakash Naik (46) died reportedly due to bullet injuries at his residence at Voilem Bhat in Merces on Friday.
According to police, it appears to be a case of suicide, and prima facie they have ruled out any foul play in the death.
However, his family, friends and supporters were of the firm opinion that Naik could not commit suicide, suspecting the death to be a case of murder.
His family members said that they will not accept the body unless those responsible for the death are arrested.
Police said that all angles are being probed and that they will question the two persons named by Naik in a post on a WhatsApp group for allegedly harassing him and held them responsible for his death.
Old Goa police have registered as unnatural death case and the investigation is on.
Naik had contested the assembly elections from the St Cruz constituency on the MGP ticket. He had later resigned from the party.
The incident occurred at around 10.45 am on Friday, police said, adding that at that time his family members were at a temple, and their maid, a driver and a gardener were at the house.
Naik was on the first floor and reportedly shot himself in the head using his Indian made .32 caliber revolver. Naik had obtained the revolver licence in 2018.
However, police said the exact reason of the death is yet to be ascertained.
Before he was found dead, Naik had posted a message on the WhatsApp group.
In the message, Naik says that he is tired of everything, alleging that two persons – Wilson Gudino and Tahir – started harassing him.
Naik further says in the message that he has no option other than committing suicide. He mentions about a ‘property issue’, alleging that both the persons cheated him, and that he can’t handle pressure.
Naik says that these two persons should be held responsible for his death, further saying that they should compensate his family with Rs 2 crore.
Naik expresses his gratefulness to two friends – Rahul and Edward – who helped him when he was in need, and requested them to help his family in bad times.
The maid, who was working on the ground floor, had heard a sound (which was later found to be of the gunshots) and came out of the house to see what had happened. When she did not find anything amiss, she went back to the house and continued with her housework.
Police said the maid told them that she did not go to the first floor to check as her work was limited only to the ground floor.
Soon after Naik’s sister and her daughter came running into the house looking for him.
Police are of the opinion that his sister must have received the post that Naik had sent on the WhatsApps group. The sister found Naik lying motionless on the bed on the first floor.
The revolver was on his body and there was blood on the bed. The family members rushed him to the GMC in a car.
However, he was declared brought dead, police said.
Postmortem will be conducted on the body on Saturday at the GMC.
Meanwhile, the Goa Forward Party on Friday demanded a free and fair investigation into the death of Naik.
“This suicide is indicative of the treatment that elected representatives and the general public experience which the state has failed to protect them. It’s a complete breakdown of law and has brought national shame to the state,” Durgadas Kamat said.