Maharashtra Additional Director General of Police Himanshu Roy, who handled several high profile cases, committed suicide Friday at his south Mumbai house by shooting himself with a licensed revolver.
Police said Roy (54), who was battling bone cancer and had a relapse, was on sick leave since 2016 and had visited the United States for treatment. According to the police, Roy shot himself with his revolver at his residence — Suniti building in Nariman Point — while he was alone in his bedroom around 1 pm. His wife, Bhawna was in the adjoining room.
On hearing the gunshot, his wife and staff including his driver and operator rushed to his bedroom and took him to the Bombay Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. In a one-page suicide note he left behind, Roy allegedly said that he was ending his life as he was depressed due to his illness. An officer from the Cuffe Parade police station said, “Roy woke up in the morning and went about his routine. He had breakfast, as usual. After taking his medicine he went back to sleep and woke up for lunch and sat in his bedroom. Minutes later his wife heard the gunshot.”
His body was taken to Gokuldas Tejpal (GT) Hospital for the portmortem by Friday afternoon. According to forensic experts, Roy, died due to firearm injuries. Late on Friday evening, he was cremated at the Chandanwadi crematorium at around 10.30 pm with state honours.
Union Minister for State for Social Justice and RPI leader Ramdas Athavle, DGP Satish Mathur, Mumbai Police commissioner D D Padsalgikar and several senior bureaucrats and police officers were present at the crematorium to pay their respects. A 1988-batch IPS officer Roy’s cases included the alleged Rs 5,600 crore payment scam at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) and the 2013 IPL betting racket in which he arrested former ICC chairman N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan. As chief of the Mumbai Crime Branch, he also headed the probe on the murder of journalist Jyotrimoy Dey.
During his stint with the Mumbai Crime branch, Roy’s team cracked the 2012 Pallavi Purkayastha attempt to rape and murder case with the arrest of a security guard Sajjad Moghul for the alleged crime in just eight hours. Roy also headed the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and led the investigation that ended in the arrest of software engineer Anees Ansari for allegedly planning to blow up the American School at the Bandra Kurla complex. He also handled the case of alleged Islamic State recruit, Areeb Majeed. Majeed was one of four Kalyan youths who fled in May 2014 to fight for IS. He was brought to India in September 2014 and is currently on trial.
“Roy was a cancer survivor and had a relapse in 2016. After that, he had been on sick leave. In November of that year he was promoted and posted as the ADG Establishment but never took charge owing to his illness,” said an official.
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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra Governor C H Vidyasagar Rao said his death was a loss for the state police force. “Senior police officer Himanshu Roy had played an important role in shouldering the responsibilities in the state and Mumbai police force. In his death, we have lost an able police officer. During his tenure, Roy cracked many important cases and took them to their logical end. He was a tough and capable police officer,” Fadnavis said.
Maharashtra DGP, Satish Mathur said that his force has lost one of its finest officers. “He was a dedicated and zealous officer. His loss is irrevocable. It is a sad day for the Maharashtra Police,” he said. Roy, a chartered accountant by training, was among the most high-profile officers in the state police and known for his impressive physique and fitness obsession, which inspired many of his colleagues to hit the gym.
According to Dr. Raj Nagarkar, surgical oncologist and part of the team that medically advised Roy, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2000. “He underwent a surgery for one kidney removal and he was cured. The relapse happened in February 2016. By then cancer had spread to his bones,” Nagarkar said. Roy was on targeted radiation therapy and had responded well after he approached HCG Manavala Cancer Centre over the last two years. About ten days ago, a PET-CT scan showed no traces of tumours in his body.
He was in line with the advice of doctors, only on tablets for rehabilitation and pain support. “More than the physical tumour, the psychological pressure may have taken a toll on him. According to records, he was advised to undergo counselling for depression,” Nagarkar said. Before approaching the Nashik centre, Roy had sought medical care from the US and Portugal.