Hours before rejoining work, cop hangs self

Police sub inspector from Borivli police station was found hanging from ceiling of his apartment, on the morning that he was to report back to duty after a two-week leave; no suicide note found

Mysterious death: Sub Inspector Bhanu Tandel of the Borivli police station was found hanging from the ceiling

His neatly ironed uniform lay on the sofa, alongside the other paraphernalia of his duty -- his belt, badge and stars from a career spent in fighting crime. Borivli policemen are still mystified about the reason why 54-year-old Bhanu Tandel, police sub inspector attached with their police station, was found hanging from the ceiling of his Borivli residence last morning.

According to the police, the incident, which is presently being treated as a case of suicide, took place a little before 11 am, when all his relatives and family members expected Tandel to be getting ready to rejoin duty, after a 15-day-long leave. The hanging body of Tandel, who stayed on the third floor of the Suyog building in Link Road, Borivli, was discovered by his brother-in-law.

Tandel lived in the apartment with his ailing mother, his wife who works as a nurse at Kasturba Hospital, and his son and daughter, who are pursuing degrees in BCom and Engineering respectively. Cops investigating the case revealed that Tandel had been on leave since March 15. Yesterday, Tandel's daughter had gone to the Kasturba Hospital nurse quarters to pick up her mother, who had just completed a night shift. Tandel's old mother was in the bedroom when Tandel allegedly took his own life.

At 10 am, he called up his daughter, complaining of indisposition. Half an hour later, he called his brother-in-law Kudal, a resident of Charkop, telling him that he was feeling uneasy. Kudal, who is a retired assistant police inspector previously attached to the Malad police station, reached Tandel's house at 11 am. When his knocks went unanswered, he pushed against the chained door, and through the gap, saw Tandel hanging from the ceiling fan with a dupatta.

Third floor residence at Borivli yesterday. Pics/Nimesh Dave

"We have not found a suicide note. However, we contacted Tandel's family doctor, who informed us that he was suffering from hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure. We have registered a case and are investigating the matter to determine the reason behind the suicide," said Bhagwan Chate, senior police inspector of Borivli police station.

"Tandel's uniform was ironed and his belt, stars and badge were kept on the sofa at the house, which indicates that he was readying himself to join duty," added Chate. When contacted, one of Tandel's relatives said that he had recently visited his village in Vengurli and donated a door for the family temple.

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