Police on Tuesday arrested the vice-chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University, Father Stephen Mavely, a leading educationist in the Northeast, on the charge of abetting the suicide of a resort owner.
George Bordoloi, the proprietor of the George’s Retreat Eco Camp, was found hanging from a tree around 8am on Monday on the resort compound. He was 65. The name of Mavely, 72, was mentioned in a purported suicide note found at George’s home at Hatimura in Guwahati.
Patrick Bordoloi, 35, the son of the deceased, had lodged an FIR seeking the registration of a case against Mavely and others. The university has denied the allegations against Mavely.
Police said Mavely, who hails from Kerala, was arrested under IPC Section 306 (abetment of suicide). He was produced before the chief judicial magistrate’s court, Kamrup Metro, and sent to police custody for a day.
In the purported suicide note, George said a court summons issued to him and Patrick on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mavely was false. The complaint had accused the duo of trespassing into the varsity campus and destroying rubber and coconut trees.
The purported suicide note termed the allegations highly objectionable and said “we have never intruded in their campus” and the eco camp was far away from the varsity campus in Tepesia. “Father Stephen Mavely therefore should be held responsible for abetting my suicide,” the note said.
Besides the court case, the purported suicide note said Father Mavely “is also responsible for blocking most of the elephant corridors by constructing buildings in their habitat which compels the elephants to visit our village and destroy our crops”.
“On the basis of this written confession, Father Mavely should be booked under relevant Act of the IPC,” the purported note, referred to as a “dying statement”, said.
Patrick said in the FIR: “My father had received a court summons, which caused him mental agony and constant stress because of Father Stephen. This forced him to commit suicide.” Patrick told this newspaper that they had met Father Mavely three-four months ago with a request to withdraw the case.
The varsity issued a statement signed by pro-VC Joseph Nellanatt, saying: “We confirm that Assam Don Bosco University had an ongoing litigation in the court with the deceased regarding a boundary dispute….
“The university wishes to inform its faculty, staff, students and all stakeholders that Fr Stephen or any other officer of the university are not in any way involved in this dispute, after the said petition was filed in Guwahati courts.”
A forest official said the area was “not a notified” elephant corridor.