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03 March 2024

It's suicide, says police... Neighbours want out

Rijesh with his wife Shreesha and daughter (SUPLLIED)

By V M Sathish & Mohammed Al Sadafy

Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazina, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, confirmed to 'Emirates 24|7' that the Indian man found dead in a Bur Dubai apartment is a case of suicide and not murder.
“It is not a murder. It is a case of suicide,” Al Mazina said in response to questions raised by Emirates 24|7. He has ruled out murder in the case.

Ribesh, younger brother of the dead man, who has been busy in the Al Rashid Hospital and the police station, did not expect his brother to commit suicide. He cannot believe that Rijesh, a soft spoken man who often spoke against suicides, could take his own life or kill his cute six-year-old daughter Avanthika who was more attached to the father.

“I never expected my brother Rijesh to do such a thing. I cannot believe that he has committed suicide.

There was no reason for him to commit suicide. Even if he had a dispute with his former sponsor, the matter could have been solved easily because they were good friends. He was not a man with a rebellious attitude.

He wished only good for all people,” Ribesh said.  “I have heard him speaking against people committing suicide and his family was an ideal one. His wife treated him like God,” Ribesh, who works in Dubai, said.

Rijesh, whose body was found on Saturday, was a well-mannered and educated person with an MBA, and his relatives and friends are yet to reconcile with the fact that that he could not withstand the pressures of life.

People who met him late at night on Friday said he did not show any signs of distress. Says a grocery employee in the area, “Normally we give him fresh bread which comes early in the morning. On Friday night, Rijesh came to the shop and said he had to rush to work at 6 am on Saturday. So he bought bread from the previous day’s stock. Normally he picks up fresh bread that is kept outside the shop by the suppliers.”

Neighbours also spotted the family outside the flat at 2 am on Saturday and the presence of a Land Cruiser that used to come there occasionally. They heard loud arguments outside the building and a dog in the adjacent building was barking at night. Bachelors who live in the flat just below that of the Rijesh family, heard a woman and child weeping early in the morning, neighbours said .

While people are tight-lipped about the whole episode, residents saw someone arguing loudly near the building and the family was spotted outside their flat at 2 am. They are also surprised by the fact that the body of Rijesh was found hanging with his mouth closed with a cellotape. Rijesh’s laptop computer had also been taken away by his former boss.

Friends and relatives of Rijesh are yet to recover from the shock of his mysterious death and many of them shared their good opinion about him. The hardworking Rijesh was brought to the UAE by his former sponsor who has also supported him.

When he came to the UAE he was a graduate and while working in the Dubai Airport Free Zone, he did his MBA .Rijesh’s relations are yet to get an idea as to what went wrong on the fateful Friday night.

“He was not only a friend, he was my cousin. We don’t know the reasons for what happened. We are now trying to send the bodies home .His wife is in hospital. We can’t believe it,” says Biju K, a relative and friend, who works in Dubai.

Rijesh studied in the PRNSS College, Mattannur near Kannur in Kerala and had schooling at the Koodali High School, Kannur, Kerala.He was a friendly guy and his attachment to his young daughter is evident from his Facebook profile picture, updated on April 17, 2010, which shows him holding his daughter. “A replica of you, so cute,” a Facebook friend had written.

“I don’t think he can be so cruel and kill his own daughter by suffocating her while sleeping. It is a strange theory and his wife Sreesha will not even kill an ant,” said a close relative. His brother has been quoted by the Dubai-based Malayalam newspaper ‘Siraj’ as saying that his sister-in-law does not have the mental strength to kill an ant, let alone smother their daughter. Their cute daughter is in all the six pictures on Rijesh’s Facebook account.

His close friends and neighbours also are sceptical about the man committing suicide, saying he did not have any major financial problems. “His father was working in a leading aluminum company in Dubai for more than 20 years. His father had earned enough for his children. Even if Rijesh had a liability of five million rupees, their parents or relatives could have easily bailed them out,” said a close friend, who did not wish to be named. “I cannot believe that he committed suicide for a small amount of Dh15,000,” the relative added.

Meanwhile, Sreesha, the lone survivor in the family tragedy, is yet to fully recover from the shock and her relatives would like to send her home for medical treatment. It is also understood that Rijesh had a dispute with his former employer.

Dubai Police is believed to have questioned the company’s partner. According to relatives, Rijesh had a good relationship with his former employer, but they are perplexed by the deterioration of his relationship with the former boss, who had also reportedly helped him in the past.

Building residents panicky, want to move out

Meanwhile, residents living in the building arepanicky. Most of them are looking for alternate accommodation, sources said.
Some residents of adjacent buildings are also looking to move out from thearea.

“We are living in the same building and now there is a bit of nervousness among women and children, especially at night. My wife never had a problem going alone to the flat. Last two days, she is reluctant to walk alone at night and I had to accompany her. There is nothing to worry, but we are looking for alternative accommodation,” said a resident in the area preferring anonymity. 

Meanwhile, some residents expect rents to decline from the current range of Dh30,000-Dh40,000 for a single-bed room apartment in the building.

Tenants normally evade haunted houses and buildings were there have been suicide or other crime cases, even if owners come clean on the episodes.

“We are not really scared, but my wife and children are putting pressure on me to look for alternative accommodation,” said another resident in the area.

Even some bachelors living in the area have shared similar feelings about living in or near a building where unnatural death occurred.

“Now that the real estate market is down and rents are not very high, residents have an easy option,” said a real estate broker in Bur Dubai.

“The lady was bleeding in the toilet and its carpets could be spoiled. Who will stay in such a room,” a resident added.

According to sources, Rijesh's family was looking to move out from the apartment. They checked a new flat on Thursday, a day before the unfortunate incident took place.