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Gujarat: Debts led developer to kill self, say police

Indian Express 2019-09-11 01:14:41

Haresh Ravani (50), a resident of Athwalines, who had several construction projects in Surat, committed suicide at his farmhouse in Kamrej of Surat district, on Monday evening

Debts and a slowdown in business are suspected to have driven a well-known real estate developer here to commit suicide at his farmhouse in Kamrej of Surat district, on Monday evening, police said.

Haresh Ravani (50), a resident of Athwalines, who had several construction projects in Surat, left home Monday afternoon to visit his under-construction site, Antilla Dream, at Vesu area in Surat city. After checking the work at Vesu, Ravani left with his his partner Manish Patel, police said, He dropped Patel at his house and proceeded to his farmhouse — Joy And Joy weekend home — at New Pardi in Kamrej taluka of Surat district, sources said.

After reaching the farmhouse and having some snacks, Ravani went to his bedroom to take rest, police said. His body was later found hanging from the hook of a ceiling fan.

The incident came to light in the evening when housekeeper Vishnubhai went to his bedroom and knocked on the door. He found the door open and Ravani hanging from the ceiling, police said.

Vishnubhai informed Ravani’s younger brother Vinod and Kamrej police station.

Family members and business partners then reached the farmhouse.

Police took the statements of Vinod Ravani and found that the deceased had been under mental stress and was also taking medicines for depression due to ongoing problems in his business.

Police sources told this paper that primary investigations had indicated that Haresh Ravani had invested a lot of money in his business and also borrowed money from friends and financiers on interest. As his business was not picking up as planned, he was unable to repay the debts. He had also put forward proposals to money lenders to buy flats he had built in lieu of payment, but they declined, Kamrej police station sources said.

Speaking to , Vinod Ravani said theirs was a joint-family business by the name of Ravani Developers, in which Hareshbhai, Vinod and their uncle’s sons were partners. Hareshbhai had been in the real-estate business since 1996, he said. “At present there was only one high-rise residential project by the name of Antilla Dream that was in progress and bookings were going on,” Vinod said. “The project cost is around Rs 300 crore.”

Hareshbhai had been depressed in the past couple of months, Vinod said. “For the past couple of years, my brother has had blood pressure and he was taking medicines regularly. But in the past two months, he has had problems of depression over some unknown reasons,” he added. “He was mentally stressed and had suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed. We had also started his medical treatment by expert doctors and they advised us to give him rest, but he was too involved in the business and we could not force him.”

Kamrej police took charge of Hareshbhai Ravani’s body and sent it to the government hospital for post mortem on Monday evening.

Police are also investigating if the deceased had possibly been threatened by money lenders.