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Mumbai: Gym owner arrested for abetting suicide of carpenter

The accused has been identified as Vaibhav Parab, owner of a fitness gym in Kalyan, who had given the contract of his under construction gym's interior work to carpenter Punma Chaudhari.

THE KOLSEWADI police in Kalyan on Sunday arrested a gym owner for abetment of the suicide of a 24-year-old carpenter. The accused had allegedly locked up the carpenter inside his soon-to-be-opened gym and threatened him with dire consequences if he did not complete the furniture work of the gym on time.

The accused has been identified as Vaibhav Parab, owner of a fitness gym in Kalyan, who had given the contract of his under construction gym’s interior work to carpenter Punma Chaudhari.

According to police, Chaudhari was found hanging inside the gym on October 23. Police said Parab had given Chaudhari Rs 1 lakh in advance for the furniture work and it was decided that the work would be completed before Diwali for the inauguration of the gym.

The work, however, was going at a very slow pace and the owner threatened the carpenter to complete the work. He allegedly locked Chaudhari and other three workers inside the gym on October 19. He also threatened them to complete the work on time or that he would not open the gym’s shutter.

While the other scared labourers managed to escape by jumping out of the window and fled from the spot, Chaudhari kept working at the gym. Later he was also allowed to go. However, he was being pressured by the gym owner to complete the work on time and was even allegedly assaulted, said the police.

Later his body was found on October 23. While his initial post-mortem report indicated suicide, Chaudhari’s kin suspected foul play and demanded a second post-mortem.

“His second post-mortem was conducted on Sunday at a hospital to ascertain if there was any foul play. We are awaiting the report. Meanwhile, we have also arrested Parab for abetment of suicide, assault and criminal intimidation,” said a police officer, adding that so far there is no witness to corroborate that Chaudhari was locked inside the gym for three days.

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