A 32-year-old aircraft maintenance engineer working with what was formerly known as Indian Airlines was found hanging in his quarters at Kalina, Santacruz (East), on Monday.
Hritik Bhattacharya was working with the airline for the past three years and lived with his wife, Sejwati, and six-month-old daughter in the Indian Airlines Residents’ Colony.
The police said on Monday morning, Sejwati had gone to the Bandra Court to make an affidavit. The couple’s domestic help was with her. She returned home a little after noon she and found Bhattacharya hanging from the ceiling fan.
Bhattacharya had recently been posted to Goa and came to Mumbai two days ago to take his family along. His parents live in Kolkata.
“He has left a suicide note saying nobody should be held responsible for his death. We do not suspect any foul play,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Vakola division) Arvind Mahabadi, said.
Bhattacharya’s colleagues, who did not wish to be identified, alleged that he was among the airline’s employees, who had gone on strike a month ago and was being “punished” for it.
The agitation was against delays in payment of salaries. “He was not given last month’s salary and had received a recovery letter that said that his next month’s salary would also be cut. He was recently transferred to Goa,” said a close friend and a member of the employees’ union, who was also a part of the agitation, requesting anonymity.
“Everyone who had participated in the agitation has been suffering the same fate. Many of us have not received last month’s salaries.”
An Air India spokesperson said, “We treat all our employees equally and it would be wrong to jump to conclusions. The police have registered a case and are investigating the matter. We do not want to comment further.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 8) SN Choudhary said the reason for Bhattacharya’s suicide is yet to be ascertained. “We will be conducting a detailed investigation,” Choudhary said.