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Auto driver who invested in DSK’s scheme ends life

Representational Image.

Representational Image.  

60-year-old leaves behind note holding developer responsible

A 60-year-old autorickshaw driver, who had invested in jailed developer D.S. Kulkarni’s fixed deposit scheme, allegedly committed suicide at his residence in Mundhwa in Pune early on Friday.

The police said that in his suicide note, Tanaji Ganpat Korake has held Mr. Kulkarni, or ‘DSK’ as he is known, as being fully responsible for his death.

“In the note, the deceased said he had invested ₹4.5 lakh in the fixed deposit scheme in 2014, which was expected to mature in 2017. He needed the money for the wedding of his fourth daughter. He despaired of ever receiving his money as DSK is now behind bars,” said an official from the Mundhwa police station. A case of accidental death had been registered in this regard, he said.

According to Right to Information activist Vijay Kumbhar, since the the first FIR against DSK and his relatives was lodged in 2017, at least 18 investors, all of them senior citizens, have been driven to an early grave due to financial stress or tensions in their families.

Auto driver who invested in DSK’s scheme ends life

“A number of investors have sunk into depression as hopes of retrieving their money has steadily receded. State governments, helmed by whichever party or coalition, have usually displayed apathy when it comes to taking steps against shady developers like D.S. Kulkarni … it is doubtful how much money will be passed onto investors after the sale and valuation of DSK’s assets, as banks will have the first claim on whatever amount is retrieved,” Mr. Kumbhar said.

Mr. Kulkarni and his wife, Hemanti, have been remanded in judicial custody at the Yerwada Central Jail since March 2018 and are accused of defrauding thousands of investors across Pune, Mumbai, and Kolhapur. At least five FIRs have been lodged against the developer and his family across the three cities since October 2017, with more than 3,000 investors filing cheating complaints.

Since then, Economic Offences Wing (EOW) officers have been probing two schemes floated by the developer and his group. These are DSK’s fixed deposit scheme, which promised lucrative gains, and Aadhi Ghar, Nantar Paise (first get the house, then pay the money) scheme in which initial deposits were taken from customers, and the group then assured payment of the EMIs on bank loans till the possession as granted.

More than 8,000 people, a majority of them senior citizens, are said to have invested in the fixed deposit scheme.

After local courts and the Bombay High Court repeatedly turned down their bail pleas, Mr. and Ms. Kulkarni were arrested by the EOW of the Pune Police from a New Delhi hotel in February 2018.

Soon after, the EOW arrested the builder’s sister-in-law Anuradha Purandare; his son, Shirish Kulkarni; his brother’s son-in-law Kedar Vanjape; Mr. Vanjape’s wife Sai; and company officials Dhananjay Pachpor and Vinaykumar Badgandi. All are in judicial custody at the Yerawada jail.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:30:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/auto-driver-who-invested-in-dsks-scheme-ends-life/article30590174.ece

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