Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sanjay Banerjee, on Saturday, committed suicide by shooting himself at a restaurant in Thane. According to the police, the incident took place around 3.45 pm at the Goa Portuguesa restaurant at Ghodbunder Road, Kapurbawadi, Thane (west). Banerjee had gone for lunch with his wife and two sons — Arjun and Ashutosh. The restaurant was mostly empty, and Banerjee and his family were seated at a secluded area.
The staff rushed to where he was sitting when they heard the sound of gunfire and found him lying in a pool of blood. He was immediately rushed to Thane Civil Hospital where doctors declared him dead before admission. Banerjee, who was in civil dress, used his 9mm service revolver to shoot himself. He shot a single round. The police is currently verifying the CCTV footage. However, the motive behind the suicide is unclear. Restaurant staff claimed that shortly before the incident, Banerjee had a heated argument with his wife.
The police is probing whether a family dispute led to his death. But according to sources, his wife Aishwarya has rubbished these claims and blamed Banerjee’s work-related stress for the suicide. A 1995 batch IPS officer, Banerjee was attached to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). His 14-year-old son stated that Saturday was his father’s day off. His father had taken the family out for lunch to a restaurant.
Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria, commissioner of police, Thane KP Raghuvanshi and other top cops visited the spot and Banerjee’s residence at Hiranandani Estate in Thane. Raghuvanshi is personally investigating the case. “We have sent the body for post mortem to JJ Hospital. It is too early to say anything about the incident,” said BR Chaudhary, senior inspector, Kapurbawdi police station.
Serving for years in DCP Zone-11 in Mumbai police, Banerjee had been transferred to GPS Nasik before he joined the ATS in June last year. He was also holding additional charge of SP (ATS) Aurangabad. “Despite being a habitual smoker, Banerjee also enjoyed running long distances. He was a second-generation police officer, and his father had held several key postings in Pune, where the family is based. Banerjee was known for being direct and straightforward,” said a friend of Banerjee, on condition of anonymity.