Film producer suicide: Widow, relatives arrested, sent to police custody (Lead)

Barely two days after Marathi film-maker Atul B. Tapkir’s death, his widow, her cousin and her adopted brothers were arrested on Tuesday on charges of abetment to suicide, police said here.

Priyanka Atul Tapkir, 30, her cousin Bappu Thigle, and her adopted brothers Kalyan Gavhane and Balu Gavhane were produced before a magistrate court which remanded them in a day’s police custody till Wednesday.

“They have been arrested from their residences in Khed and Kondwa areas of the city and charged with Indian Penal Code Sections’ 306, 34 pertaining to abetment to suicide, common intent, etc,” said investigating officer R.A. Patel of the Deccan Gymkhana police station said.

The arrests followed a complaint lodged against them on Monday by Bajirao Tapkir, Atul’s father, Patel said.

On May 14, Tapkir, 35, posted a ‘suicide’ note on Facebook before consuming a poisonous substance and ending his life in a locked room of Hotel President in the posh Deccan Gymkhana area of the city.

After the post went viral, the hotel authorities summoned the police, who broke open the room door to recover his body lying on the bed.

In his ‘suicide’ post, Tapkir had blamed his wife and the two Gavhane brothers for his extreme step, saying she constantly quarreled with him, threw him out of their home six months ago and prevented him from meeting their children, son Vishwajit and daughter Sakshi.

He also accused the Gavhane brothers and some others of threatening and thrashing him at his wife’s instigation, which was corroborated by his father Bajirao Tapkir in his police complaint.

Taking serious note of allegations against an official who reportedly took a bribe of Rs 10,000 from Tapkir for not arresting him and his father after his wife earlier lodged a complaint against him, Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla has ordered a probe against the official.

The co-producer of a 2015 film, “Dhol Taashe”, which ran into losses, Tapkir had urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that “police must listen to a man’s side of the story too when a woman lodges a complaint”.

In his last wish, he said since his wife cannot look after their children, he requested his father raise them and sought all his family members’ forgiveness for “leaving them mid-way like this and going to join his mother” (who died 10 years ago).


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