As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed in on those involved in the Navy recruitment exam scam, the case saw its first casualty: The owner of a printing press near Pune, where the Navy was getting its question papers printed, died of heart attack on his way to meet CBI officials waiting to question him.
The incident took place on Sunday night outside Atharva Consultancy, the printing press on Sinhagad Road near Pune. Describing the sequence of events, a CBI official said that when the team reached the printing press to question the owner, BS Thakur, it was locked. One of the officials then called Thakur. “He said he would come to the press so we decided to wait,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
On his way to the press, Thakur called his wife and informed her about the development, and before he got to the press, his wife and a few relatives arrived there. The team told the family that they wanted to interrogate Thakur as his press had got many printing orders from the Navy through Ranbir Rawat and DS Murthy, two of the accused arrested for selling the recruitment exam papers. “We also told them that Rawat and Murthy had met Thakur on Friday, two days before the exam was to be held,” the official said.
As they were talking, Thakur called his wife on her cellphone and told her he was nearby, and suddenly his wife and the relatives started running. The CBI officials, unaware of what was happening, were shocked. “We thought they were trying to escape and started chasing them,” the official said.
Hundred metres ahead, the family stopped next to Thakur’s parked car, in which he had collapsed. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead. He had suffered a heart attack previously too. The CBI realised that Thakur’s wife had started running as she had sensed something was wrong because suddenly he had stopped responding.
The CBI has sealed the printing press.