A constable attached to the Local Arms branch of the Mumbai Police,who was found unconscious at Kalachowky police station on Thursday,died at KEM Hospital on Saturday,with his relatives alleging that a suspension order served on him had led the constable to consume poison.
They said the policeman had taken to drinking apparently owing to the pressure on the force after the 26/11 terror attacks and he was caught and punished for being drunk on duty,leading to the tragedy. The police,however,have registered an accidental death report in the case and are yet to establish the exact cause of death and the circumstances leading to it.
The constable,50-year-old Keruji Shinde,was attached to the Local Arms Unit 2 at Tardeo. According to Kalachowky police,he was found unconscious on the police station premises on Thursday and was immediately rushed to hospital. Shinde was on a ventilator for two days.
Shinde had served over 21 years in the force. He lived alone in Mumbai while his wife,two sons and a daughter were back in his native village in Pune. According to his wife Nanda,he had called her during Diwali and lamented about the pressures in his profession and said he wanted to quit his job. However,Nanda had cautioned him to wait till at least one of their children gets a job, a relative said.
On December 31,while he was on bandobast duty,a senior police official had sternly enquired whether he was drunk and reprimanded him for being drunk on duty. Last Wednesday,he had received his suspension orders,and on Thursday morning he had called up his wife to tell her that he was coming home. However,he consumed poison soon after that, he said.
When contacted,Senior Police Inspector Ramesh Poman of Kalachowky police did not wish to comment on the cause of death and stated that the police were yet to establish whether Shindes death was a case of suicide. We have registered an accidental death report in the matter,and have sent Shindes viscera to the Kalina Forensic Sciences Laboratory, said Poman.