An activist of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or MNS allegedly committed suicide in Maharashtra's Thane district, with a party leader today claiming that he was "depressed" over the Enforcement Directorate's notice to party chief Raj Thackeray.
However, the police said no suicide was found and an investigation has been initiated to find out the reason for his death.
"The deceased, 27-year-old Pravin Chowgule, was an alcoholic and used to be frequently depressed," police sub-inspector Mahesh Kawde said, adding that "He allegedly poured kerosene and set himself on fire at his residence in Kalwa township around 10 pm on Tuesday."
When some of Pravin Chowgule's neighbours saw smoke coming from his house, they rushed there and took him to a local hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, Mr Kalwa said.
"No suicide note was found at the spot," the police sub-inspector said, adding that the police registered a case of accidental death and an investigation is being carried out.
He said Pravin Chowgule lived alone and used to work as a tourist car operator. "He used to be frequently depressed and was addicted to alcohol. He had attempted suicide on two-three occasions in the past as well," the official said.
However, MNS Thane unit spokesman Nainesh Patankar said Chowgule took the extreme step as he was "depressed and angry" over the Enforcement Directorate notice to party chief Raj Thackeray.
Mr Patankar claimed that "Prior to committing suicide, Chowgule expressed concern over this in posts on his Facebook page."
Raj Thackeray has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering probe. He will appear before the probe agency tomorrow, the MNS earlier said.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Raj Thackeray said he would "honour" the summons, and appealed to his party workers to maintain "peace and harmony" and not to indulge in violent protests.
The Enforcement Directorate is probing alleged irregularities related to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai's Dadar area.