Mumbai: Depressed excise officer offers prayers, shoots self in the head

Ravi Phadke shot himself last morning at his Malad residence; relatives claim the 45-year-old had gone into depression following his mother’s death 18 months ago

An excise superintendent shot himself dead at his Malad residence while offering prayers last morning. The deceased, Ravi S Phadke (45) was posted at the Central Board of Excise and Customs office in Parel.

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The housing society in Malad (W) where the Phadkes reside. Pic/Nimesh Dave
The housing society in Malad (W) where the Phadkes reside. Pic/Nimesh Dave 

A resident of Rishav CHS, Malad (W), Phadke is survived by his wife Archana (43) and son Raj (20).

Prima facie investigation revealed that Ravi was diabetic and was battling depression following his mother’s death 18 months ago. On Wednesday, Ravi had celebrated his father-in-law’s 75th birthday at a hotel in Malad.

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Ravi Phadke shot himself dead with a pistol he had purchased five years ago.
Ravi Phadke shot himself dead with a pistol he had purchased five years ago. 

While Ravi’s family refused to comment, one of his relatives confirmed that he had gone into depression after his mother’s death.

They claimed that medication for diabetes and blood pressure had deteriorated his mental health further.

“He was traumatised by his mother’s death and went into depression. He couldn’t come to terms with her demise. He had been fighting depression for a long time and probably gave in,” said a relative.

An officer from Malad police station said that observing his daily routine, Ravi went for a morning walk with his dog and returned home as usual. A religious man, Ravi played mantras on his music system and it was here that he shot himself in the head with a pistol while offering prayers at 8.15 am.

Ravi was passionate about target shooting and had purchased the pistol five years ago. At the time of the incident, Archana was packing tiffins for Ravi and herself, while Raj, an engineering student, had left for his college in Mahim.

“During investigation, we recovered a suicide note from his pocket. It states: ‘I am fed up with my life and I am committing suicide. Nobody is responsible for it’. After registering an Accidental Death Report (ADR), the body was despatched to JJ Hospital for autopsy,” said an official from Malad police station.

Archana told the police that on two previous occasions, the music system had emitted bangs due to short circuit.

So, last morning, before rushing to see what had happened, she assumed it was the music system again. But to her horror, she saw Ravi’s body lying in a pool of blood when she entered the bedroom. She immediately sought help from their neighbour Sanjay Choukekar, and they rushed Ravi to Shatabdi Hospital.

Dr Krishna Pimple, medical superintendent of the hospital, said Phadke was critical when he was brought to the hospital. “The bullet had gone through his brain and his condition was very severe. We put him on the ventilator and started treatment. However, at 12.40 pm, he was pronounced dead by the treating doctors,” said Pimple.

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