Sangram Gaikwad (26), the project manager of State Bank of India‘s capital markets-Dapoli branch, who was accused of abetment to suicide, has been placed in judicial custody by a local court in Ratnagiri. Earlier, Gaikwad had been remanded to three days of police custody in connection with the suicide of Neelima Chavan (24), a staffer in the Demat account section.
Neelima Chavan had gone missing on July 29 while on her way home, and her body was later discovered floating in the Dabhol creek on August 1. Surveillance camera footage and eyewitnesses had placed her in Khed at some point. Chavan’s father, in his police complaint, accused Gaikwad of abetting her suicide.
The Dabhol coastal police uncovered social media chats between Chavan and one of her friends on July 27, in which they discussed work-related stress, depression, and feelings of having no other option but to end her life. Some of these conversations revealed the pressure she was facing at her workplace.
Chavan’s tragic death sparked widespread protests in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts, and the issue was even raised in the state assembly by MLA Bhaskar Jadhav. The police conducted extensive investigations, interrogating 104 individuals and launching an operation to search for her missing bag, utilizing four boats, two drones, and eight teams comprising 80 police personnel, covering the area from the Jagbudi river to the creek.
During the postmortem examination, no signs of internal or external injuries were found, and her cause of death was attributed to asphyxia due to drowning, as indicated by the testing of her viscera samples.
Assistant Police Inspector Tushar Pachpute from the Dabhol coastal police station stated, “The chats suggest that there were underlying issues contributing to the victim’s decision to take her own life.”