President of Surat diamond polishers’ body dies by suicide

The deceased’s body was found on the river banks. Kamrej police has registered a case of accidental death case and started a probe.

President of Surat Diamond Polishers’ Association allegedly died by suicide by jumping into Tapi river at Kathor village in Surat district on Wednesday night. His body was found on the banks on Thursday morning.

Jaysukh Gajera (53), resident of Yogi Chowk area in Surat’s Punagam, was at the helm of the association for the last 15 years.

On Thursday early morning, Kamrej police found a bike and abandoned slippers on Kathor bridge on Tapi river in Surat district. Gajera’s family members were called to the spot who identified his bike. The deceased’s body was found on the river banks. Kamrej police has registered a case of accidental death case and started a probe.

Kamrej police inspector J B Vanar said, “We have taken statements of Gajera’s family members and his association members. We have come to know that he was facing financial crisis during lockdown and this might have driven him to take the step. We are also looking into other possibilities. We are trying to find his mobile phone. No suicide note has been found as of yet.” His post-mortem report is awaited, he added.

The deceased’s family said that Gajera did not return home on Wednesday night and they tried to contact him over phone but it was switch off. The family members also said that when they contacted chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC), Dinesh Navadiya, who was reportedly close to Gajera, the latter told them that he had a word with Gajera on Wednesday night.

Navadiya said, “When I had a word with Jaysukhbhai on Wednesday night, he told me that he wanted to resign and let Balubhai Vekarya become the president of the association. I told him to wait for a few days. I am shocked to hear the news of his death. If he was facing financial crises, he would have told me. Police should investigate his death. They should find out if he was facing threat from somebody, which drove him to end his life.”

The diamond workers’ union has also made representations to the district superintendent of police demanding an investigation into the death.

Secretary of Surat Diamond Polishers’ Association Balubhai Vekarya said, “He was in the office on Wednesday till 6.30 pm. He left saying that that he had some important work. At 8.15 pm, Gajera called me and told that he wanted to resign from the post of president and requested me to take over. I told him to meet me on Thursday afternoon in office. Later at 9.30 pm, his wife called me and enquired about him as his phone was switched off. We all looked for him, but could not locate him.”

The Surat diamond workers’ union president Bhavesh Tank said, “In these last few months, 13 diamond polishers in Surat who were facing financial crises died by suicide. The situation of the diamond workers is worsening day by day. We have raised the issue before the state government seeking relief packages for the workers.”

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