A superintendent with the Central Excise department, Ravi Phadke, allegedly shot himself in the head in his apartment in Rishav Cooperative society in Malad on Tuesday morning. He died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.
The society’s new watchman Ganesh heard a loud bang around 8 am. Moments later, he saw Phadke of flat 301, blood oozing out from his head, being rushed to the hospital by four men. “The men tied a cloth around his head. His shirt was drenched in blood,” said Ganesh.
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Phadke (48), took the extreme step reportedly due to depression. The police said that using his service pistol, Phadke shot one 7.65 mm round against his right temple. “Phadke lived in a 2-BHK apartment with his family. While his wife Archana was preparing a meal in the kitchen, Phadke was in the bedroom, getting dressed for work. It appears that he left the bedroom door ajar before shooting himself. Phadke’s son Raj (24), a student of engineering, was in college at the time of the incident,” said a senior police officer with the Malad police.
Phadke was brought to Kandivali’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital in a serious condition and admitted at 8.45 am. Medical documents prepared on Phadke’s condition state that his “brain matter was partially coming out” when he was wheeled inside the hospital.
He was immediately put on ventilator support and doctors gave him intensive treatment to reduce the damage to his brain. At 12.40 pm, Phadke succumbed to the bullet injury.
Vikram Deshmane, zonal deputy commissioner of police, claimed that the police recovered a suicide note from the breast pocket of the deceased’s uniform.
“The suicide note was written in English. It read, ‘I am fed up of myself. I am committing suicide. No one is responsible’,” said Sudhir Mahadik, senior police inspector, Malad police.
Phadke’s neighbour, who stays on the sixth floor of the building he lived in, said Phadke had been residing there with his family for over 20 years.
“Just last night he and his family returned from their relative’s 75 th birthday celebration. There were no problems within the family. I would often see him downstairs during the evenings or riding his motorcycle,” said the neighbour on the condition of anonymity.
A close family friend of the Phadkes, a resident of flat 602 of the same building, who had left for work at 7.30 am on the day of the incident, said, “He was extremely calm and composed. He was reserved, but his vibes were never negative. I am a counselor with the Railways and I have observed his behaviour. I never sensed any suicidal tendencies.”
Inquiry indicated that there were no problems within the family. “Phadke lost his mother over 18 months ago. According to his family, he did not completely recover from her loss and it is being believed that it could be the only reason for his depression,” said a police officer.