Former Maharashtra ATS (Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad) chief Himanshu Roy on Friday committed suicide by shooting himself at his residence in South Mumbai. According to the police, around 1.40 pm, Roy shot himself near his mouth with his service revolver. On hearing the sound, his staff rushed to his room and took him to the Bombay hospital where he was declared dead.
Roy, who was battling cancer and had a relapse was on leave for over a year, had even visited the United States of America for treatment.
Born on June 23, 1963, Roy was an alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Roy was an IPS officer of the 1988 Maharashtra cadre, and had worked as the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) in Mumbai. In 2016, Roy was appointed as ADG (Establishment) in Maharashtra. Before that, he served as the Additional Director General of Police (DGP).
After passing out in 1985, Roy went on to become a Chartered Accountant (CA). He then gave civil services exam and became an IPS officer on August 21, 1989.
One of his first postings was Malegaon where he was posted from 1991 to 1995. There, he handled the fallout of the post-Babri demolition riots. After another stint in Ahmednagar, Roy was posted in Mumbai in March 2001. For four years between 2004 – 2008, he was the commissioner of Nashik police after which he returned to Mumbai
Roy had solved several sensational cases including the firing on fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar’s driver Arif Bael, journalist J Dey murder case, the double murder case involving Vijay Palande, Laila Khan murder case and the recent murder of law graduate Pallavi Purkhayasta. In the J Dey murder case, his team had arrested a former senior journalist Jigna Vora in the case.
Roy, who was joint commissioner of police (Crime) from 2012-2014, is credited with leading the investigation into the 2013 Indian Premier League betting scandal. He was responsible for the arrest of actor Vindoo Dara Singh, son of wrestler Dara Singh, for alleged links to bookies in the spot-fixing case. However, Vindoo was later released on bail on June 3, 2013 by a Mumbai court. Roy was responsible for the arrest of Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of former ICC president N Srinivasan and owner of Chennai Super Kings franchise in the same spot-fixing case.
He was then transferred to the state ATS. During his tenure as the agency’s chief, software engineer Anees Ansari was arrested for allegedly planning to blow up the American school at the Bandra Kurla complex.
The former Mumbai top cop is also credited for setting up Mumbai’s first Cyber Crime Cell, devising effective anti-dacoity measures in rural Maharashtra and establishing a special cell to deal with crimes related to women.
In 2014, Roy, along with Rakesh Maria, became the first police officer in Mumbai to be given Z+ security cover.
Crime branch officers to this day recall Roy as one of those officers who “trusted them and gave them a free hand.” A police inspector, who had worked with Roy in the crime branch, said, “He did not believe in taking regular updates from officers every week like some officers did. He told us that I trust you and gave us a free hand. If things did not work out sometimes, he stood by us. ” The officer added, ” Some of the best police detections took place under his tenure. We all tried to best to deserve the trust he had in us.”
Another officer said, “Another good thing about him was that he did not hog the credit when a case was detected. Some senior officers do not like it if the names of juniors appear prominently in the media. Roy Saab would encourage us to showcase the good work done by us.” Roy also had good relations with the media and is remembered as a ‘co-operative officer’ who was ready to help journalists whenever approached.
Roy was also known to be very careful about how he appeared. He was known to request journalists to use a particular photograph of his in the newspapers.