Monday, September 16, 2013

Additional DGP burned badly at home, incident cloaked in mystery

IPS officer Ranjit Kumar Sahay


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai:An additional director general of Maharashtra police was hospitalized on Sunday with 55% burns after what the police described as an “unfortunate incident” at his official Malabar Hill residence. The tragedy was awash in questions, with the police formally not clarifying if it was a suicide attempt or an accident.
    Ranjit Kumar Sahay, a 1986-batch IPS officer posted with the Maharashtra
State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation, was rushed to Bombay Hospital around 12.30am by family members and colleagues. He was mauled by fire about a halfhour earlier at his flat in Avanti Apartments, which is home to senior cops. 

    A person close to Sahay told the police he was busy with Ganpati puja when the incident occurred; the contention could not be verified. Nor could the police confirm reports that Sahay had had an argument with his wife.

Senior cop had alleged irregularities in MSRTC

Mumbai: The Mumbai police have made a “diary entry” on the “incident” that led to the hospitalisation of senior IPS officer R K Sahay with 55% burns. He had not too long ago submitted an inquiry report detailing alleged irregularities in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) during the tenure of its former chief, Deepak Kapoor, a civil servant of 1991 batch . 

    The doctor treating the senior cop, Dr Vinay Jacob, said he had suffered extensive burns; “his face, neck and scalp are the most affected. There are burn injuries on hands and abdomen too.” Dr Jacob said that Sahay was “quite critical, but what was most worrying was the inhalation burns”. “The incident probably happened in a closed room because of which his respiratory tract suffered major damage.” The burn wounds in the respiratory pipe had caused a swelling, which did not allow him to speak. The doctor said it could be at least 2-3 weeks before Sahay is out of danger.
    It was the hospital that first alerted the Azad Maidan police. Sahay was admitted to the ICU and at around 1.40am the Malabar Hill police were informed.
    The police stated in a press note: “An unfortunate incident has taken place at the official residence of R K Sahay. He has sustained burn injuries. He is not in a condition to give a statement.” Additional commissioner of police (south region) Krishna Prakash added, “We don’t know what happened. We have not spoken to the family.”
    An investigator said it is not known if the incident occurred in the bedroom or drawing room of Sahay’s flat. Nor is it clear if the cause was a gas explosion; no kerosene was found.
    An IPS officer said Sahay
had looked disturbed recently. He was empanelled in February by the cabinet appointment committee, which happens only if there are no adverse remarks against an officer.   Sahay was recently in the news for the inquiry report he submitted on the alleged irregularities in MSRTC. He conducted the inquiry as MSRTC’s chief vigilance officer. He was promoted and transferred as additional DG two months ago. 

    Sahay reportedly was not comfortable working under a relatively junior Kapoor and the two had differences during their MSRTC tenure. In a recent meet of the IPS officers’ association, Sahay sought that it ask the government to ensure that IPS officers are not made to work under IAS officers junior to them.

    (With inputs from  Sumitra Deb Roy) 


RANJIT KUMAR SAHAY | He was born on September 25, 1961, in Bihar and joined the IPS in 1986. He had recently served as MSRTC’s chief vigilance officer and is currently an additional director general at the MSPHC 
 THE INCIDENT | He was rushed to hospital by family and senior cops living in his building, Avanti Apartments, at 12.30am on Sunday. He was admitted to the ICU with 55% burns that were caused in an ‘incident’ around midnight
IN THE NEWS | Sahay had recently submitted an inquiry report detailing alleged irregularities in the MSRTC during the tenure of its former chief, Deepak Kapoor. The two reportedly had differences during their MSRTC tenure 
 Khadse demands independent probe
 BJP leader Eknath Khadse has demanded an independent probe into the incident that led to the hospitalisation of R K Sahay. “I have asked the CM for a high-level probe. It should be entrusted with an independent agency,” he said. Khadse had met Sahay last Friday. “For the last six months, he was trying to meet home minister R R Patil, but the latter did not. During our meeting, Sahay said he had exposed alleged corruption in MSRTC. He gave me copies of letters he had written to the chief secretary on the MSRTC and the manner in which he was being harassed in Maharashtra State Police Housing Corporation”. — Prafulla Marpakwar

The Times of India, September 16, 2013

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