Renowned film art director Nitin Desai was found hanging on Wednesday at his famous ND Studio in Karjat area of Raigad, about 50 km from Mumbai. Officials said that prima facie, it seems to be a case of suicide, adding they are investigating the case from all angles. However, Maharashtra MLA and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mahesh Baldi told a news outlet that Desai was under financial stress which led to him taking his life.
Baldi said, "He was under financial stress and this could be the only reason for suicide."
After being alerted, police rushed to the spot. Raigad Superintendent of Police Somnath Gharge said, "We have found the body of art director Nitin Desai hanging in his studio in Karjat. Police were informed about this by a worker on the set. When the police team reached the studio we saw his body hanging. We are investigating the case further for ascertaining all the aspects in this case.”
Desai was also known for designing the pandal for Mumbai's Lalbaugcha Raja ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Sudhir Salvi, secretary of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandal said in a statement, "It is sad and shocking news to us. He was here on Sunday with us for almost two hours with his team monitoring the work of the Pandal. He was absolutely normal and there was no trace that something like this could happen. Desai was a Bhakt of Lalbaugcha Raja and got associated with us since 2009. Maybe a year when he was unwell he may have not designed the pandal otherwise he has been with us throughout after 2009. He always finished work on time and it was appreciated by all. It is very shocking news."
Desai served as art director and production designer for a number of Bollywood and Marathi movies. He was known for his artwork in films like "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", "Lagaan", "Jodhaa Akbar" and "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" to name a few.