It has been more than a month since 49-year-old Nikhil Jhaveri went missing from his home in Thakur Village in Kandivali East. Jhaveri, who owns and ran the once-prestigious Palm Beach School in Napean Sea Road before it closed down in 2009, suffers from Huntington’s disease – a genetic disorder that affects motor functions. His relatives fear the land mafia, which was eyeing the property, worth Rs1,000 crore, may be behind his disappearance.
Jhaveri, who lived in Napean Sea road until a few months ago, moved to his sister and brother-in-law’s place in Kandivali in November 2012. “Ever since the school shut, Jhaveri was under stress. While he moved to Kandivali after LIC sealed his house over a loan default, he still owns the school property, which worth Rs1,000 crore,” said Pravin More, senior inspector of Samta Nagar police, where a missing person’s complaint has been registered.
According to his relatives, Jhaveri had plans start an IB school. He was also approached by several property developers with business deals. Tejas Mehta, Jhaveri’s nephew said, “My uncle has been suffering from Huntington’s disease since the last five years. He is absent-minded and has problem in walking and swallowing.”
Mehta said Jhaveri would often get depressed. “Besides the property spanning 22,000 square feet, he did not have any liquid cash. He wanted to develop a school by getting into partnership.
However, his dreams didn’t materialise.”
Jhaveri, a two-time divorcee, went missing on December 3rd and a complaint was filed four days later. Mehta said, “He had gone missing in the past too, but we had found him at a relative’s place or near the school property. That is why we didn’t file a complaint immediately.”
Since a prime property is in his name, relatives fear involvement of land sharks. “We are probing from all angles. He did not carry a phone or wallet. We are contacting his ex-wives, relatives and other friends,” said a police officer.
Jhaveri’s lawyer, Vikram Trivedi, managing partner of firm Manilal Kher Ambalal and co, said, “He wanted to build an IB school, but was not interesting in selling the property. He had been approached by many people, but never proceeded further with the talks.”