The constable, who had faked a call that he would be found hanging on Sunday, was found alive by police in a relative’s house in Delhi Cantonment area early on Monday. Police said he had used someone else’s phone to make the hoax calls about his suicide, sending New Delhi district police into a tizzy.
Police said the 40-year-old constable, enlisted in the third battalion, has terminal cancer and has been suffering from depression.
His condition was aggravated by the death of his only sister late last year, police said. Senior police officers also said his mental health is not sound and that they are planning to refer him to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.
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According to police, the constable made the hoax call around 4 pm on Sunday from the mobile phone of a passerby in Chawri Bazar area.
He told the control room that a constable (himself) was found hanging from a tree in the Mandir Marg area, with a suicide note blaming a senior colleague for harassing him.
After a four-hour search by three platoons of police personnel, no body was found.
Instead, police managed to get through to the constable’s brother-in-law who confirmed that he was at his house in Delhi Cantonment area.
“The constable has been sent to his village in Rajasthan to stay with relatives. We did not recover any suicide note as the caller had claimed,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Vijay Singh said.
Police confirmed that the call was not made from the constable’s phone, which remained unreachable for the entire time police were searching for him on Sunday.
Neither could police get through to the person whose phone the constable had used.
“His sister had passed away four months ago and he was disturbed about that. Moreover, the constable had been diagnosed with cancer and was depressed. He was marked absent from work for the last few days till we heard about him on Sunday evening,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Third Battalion) S K Tiwari said.
“The constable, who was posted in Karkardooma court, approached me on April 18 and asked me to transfer him to Tis Hazari so that he could get himself treated at a hospital nearby. I complied and he was duly transferred. However, we got to know about the severity of his ailment only on Monday during the inquiry into the hoax call he made. We also found out that he had made a similar hoax call when he was enlisted with Traffic police — before he was transferred to the third battalion,” the DCP said.
A police officer at Mandir Marg police station said the constable had taken to drinking heavily of late every night.
“The constable’s relatives had come to the barracks a few days ago and taken away his mobile phone. He is married and has children but his family does not live in Delhi. Two of his brothers work in different branches of the Delhi police. Another brother is a teacher in a school in Delhi and another is a teacher in Rajasthan. His only sister’s death came as a big blow to him,” the police officer said.