Wed, Apr 29 02:36 AM
Wed, Apr 29 02:36 AM
In a bizarre twist to the alleged Anil Ambani helicopter sabotage case, Bharat Borge, the technician from maintenance company Air Works who first noticed pebbles and mud in the helicopter's fuel tank, was found dead on the railway tracks between Vile Parle and Santacruz stations this morning.
Police said there was a note in his pocket in Marathi claiming that "three or four people from Reliance" came to meet him yesterday to "discuss the case" and that he feared he would be "used" by them. The note, addressed to Inspector Sanjay Bhole of the Crime Branch's Bandra Unit, also says: "I want to tell you that your investigations are on the right path."
Railway Police said they are investigating if Borge, 42, committed suicide by jumping in front of a speeding train at around 8 am or if there was foul play.
"Borge, a resident of Bhayander, died after coming in front of a Churchgate fast train. We have registered a case of accidental death and are carrying out further investigations.
A note has also been recovered from Borge's pocket," said Western Railway DCP Anil Tamaichekar.
The note says: "Dear Mr Bhole, Jaihind. I have not committed any such act as my parents have never taught me to do such things. Yesterday, after we met, three or four people from Reliance came to meet me. They took my mobile phone number and told me they would sit with me tomorrow and discuss the case. I fear I will be used by them in this case. I wanted to tell you this last night when I came to meet you with my boss but because of what happened in the police station (two drunk men had been picked up by the police during election bandobast and were being interrogated) I could not tell you then. But I thought about it all night and that is why I am writing you this letter. I want to tell you that your investigations are on the right path."
Borge was one of six people being questioned by a special investigation team of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch after a complaint was lodged by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) claiming that a business rival was responsible for the sabotage of the Bell 412 helicopter and alleged it was an attempt on his life.
On the night of April 23, when the helicopter was going through a routine maintenance check at Air Works' hangar on the Kalina side of Mumbai airport, Borge noticed that the cap of the fuel tank was open and found mud and gravel inside.
One angle the Crime Branch is probing is that the sabotage may have been motivated by a dispute between the company's employees union and its management which is pending in a Labour Court. The six men questioned by the Crime Branch belong to both sides.
Preliminary enquiries have revealed that Borge is an ex-armyman from Patan taluka in Satara. On Monday night, he visited a neighbour's house in Bhayander where he is said to have had dinner before leaving. "We are shocked. Borge was a really good technician and had been with the company for over four years. He was instrumental in detecting the fault with the helicopter," said Ravi Menon, MD of Air Works International.
A statement from the company said: "Bharat was one of the most valued members of our team in Mumbai. He showed exemplary presence of mind in discovering a tampering attempt with a helicopter under maintenance contract with us."