Friday, October 4, 2013

DGP Sahay succumbs to burns, cops to go with accident theory for now

R K Sahaya


Condition Worsened Since Tue


Mateen Hafeez TNN


    Ranjit Kumar Sahay (52), additional director-general of police, succumbed to complications arising out of burn injuries on Thursday. He was being treated at Bombay Hospital where he was rushed on September 15 with 55% burns.
 
    Around 7.15am on Thursday, Sahay had a cardiac arrest and was declared dead at 8.30am after efforts to resuscitate him failed. An IPS officer of the 1986 batch, Sahay remained on ventilator from the time he was admitted. As he never regained consciousness, investigators couldn’t speak to him to conclude if the incident was a suicide attempt or an accident. Plastic surgeon Dr Vinay Jacob said his condition worsened since Tuesday after his renal functions stopped. Thereafter, his organs failed one after another. The swelling in the brain never subsided. He had sustained maximum burns on the scalp, face, hands and chest, fuelling rumours of a suicide attempt. He was treated by experts from 10 specialties, including plastic surgery, neurology and nephrology among others.
 
    The incident took place at his official residence in Avanti Chambers, at Malabar Hill. When he was admitted to hospital, Sahay told doctors he was performing Ganeshotsav pooja when his leg inadvertently hit a petrol bottle and an oil lamp fell on him, causing the fire. His wife, Ralu, an advocate, along with senior IPS officers Surendra Kumar and K L Bishnoi, had rushed him to hospital.
 
    Some IPS officers suspect the incident could have been a suicide attempt, but few were willing to hazard a guess on the possible trigger. “There is talk that he was not on good terms with his boss,” said a senior IPS officer. Sahay was in the news when he recently submitted an inquiry report detailing alleged irregularities in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) during the tenure of its former chief, Deepak Kapoor, an IAS officer of the 1991 batch. It is learnt that for several months, Sahay met senior officials and a few politicians. “We don’t know the nature of these meetings,” said the officer. There were also reports that the suicide attempt followed after an argument at home.
 
    “Sahay’s elder brothers — Sujit, Dr Ajit and Vijay — have come to the city along with their brother in-law, Arun Kumar Sinha, an IPS officer. They have gone to JJ Hospital where the post-mortem was completed,” said Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police, south region. “We are taking this case as an accident and not an attempted suicide. We are going by Sahay’s version.” However, the cause of death was reserved till further tests. 

    Sahay will be cremated with state honours at 10am on Friday at Banganga in Malabar Hills. “The state police has sanctioned Rs 15 lakh (from the cashless scheme for cops) towards his hospital bills,” said a police officer.
    (With inputs from Sumitra  Deb Roy) 
 
 SUICIDE, ACCIDENT?
RANJIT KUMAR SAHAY was a 1986 batch IPS officer. He was empaneled in February by the cabinet appointment committee, possible only if there are no adverse remarks against an officer 
 
 Sept 15
At 12.10am, Sahay’s wife and daughter found him engulfed in flames. Panicked,
they called neighbors and rushed Sahay to Bombay Hospital. He was admitted to the ICU at around 12.40am  
 
Sept 20
Malabar Hill police searched Sahay’s Worli office for documents, to
probe whether developments at his workplace were related to the reported suicide bid  
Sept 25
Police recorded the statement of Sahay’s wife Ralu, who said it was an accident. They
also recorded statements of IPS officers Surendra Kumar and K L Bishnoi who had helped rush Sahay to the hospital  
Oct 1
Sahay’s health began to deteriorate, renal functions stopped
 
 
Oct 3
He didn’t survive a cardiac arrest and was declared dead at 8.30am  
 
Oct 4
 Sahay will be cremated at 10am at Banganga near with state honours
 
HIS VERSION | Sahay had told doctors when still conscious, while being taken to the ICU on September 15, that he was busy in pooja when his leg hit a petrol bottle in the room and a diya fell on him, causing the fire 
 
 THEORIES AROUND HIS DEATH
 
PROFESSIONAL GROUSES
    
Sahay pointed out irregularties in the MSRTC. He was recently promoted and transferred from MSRTC to the state police housing board
    Sahay had filed a complaint with the anti-corruption bureau about his boss in the MSRTC, Deepak Kapoor, who was then its managing director
Unconfirmed reports say Sahay complained about Pravin Dixit, his boss in the housing board. He reportedly said that a housing tender was given to a blacklisted developer
He had earlier told the DGP that IPS officers should not be posted under junior IAS officers. He was reportedly upset at having to report to Kapoor and Dixit, both of whom were nearly a decade junior to him 
 
 PERSONAL TROUBLES | Sahay was said to be short-tempered, and would often have arguments with his wife
 
IN HOSPITAL Admitted with 55% burns on the face, scalp, neck, abdomen and upper limbs
Extensive burns in the respiratory tract led to breathing difficulties
He was breathing with the help of a ventilator since he was admitted to hospital
Kidney functions stopped since Tuesday, which led to the failure of all organs
He suffered a cardiac arrest early on Thursday morning and couldn’t be revived by doctors
A post-mortem was done but the cause of death was reserved till further tests


The Times of India, October 4, 2013

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