Hours earlier than suicide, CBI ex-chief Ashwani Kumar visited Mall Street, Kali Bari temple in Shimla

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 8

The police have ruled out any foul play in the alleged suicide by Ashwani Kumar, former Nagaland Governor, CBI chief and Himachal DGP, who was cremated here on Thursday with full state honours.

A police contingent accorded guard of honour as his son Abhishek lit the pyre.

State Power Minister Sukh Ram Chowdhary, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, DGP Sanjay K Kundu, former DGPs, MLAs and a host of senior bureaucrats and police personnel were present at the cremation.

Though the post-mortem report was awaited, prime facie it appeared to be a case of suicide, said a police official, citing the statements of the family members and a suicide note left by the deceased.

A case was registered and proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC had been initiated, said DGP Kundu.

“The statements of witnesses, including immediate family members, have been recorded , forensic teams have visited the spot, crime scene has been photographed and all items such as ladder and rope involved in the incident have been seized,” said an official.

Hours before his death, said sources, Ashwani Kumar appeared normal, had lunch with his family and then moved out for an evening stroll to the Mall Road and also visited Kali Bari temple. He followed his normal routine, the sources said.

It was around 7.10 pm on Wednesday that his son and daughter-in-law, while going out for a walk, found the door of Ashwani Kumar’s room locked from inside. They broke open the door and found the ex-DGp hanging with a rope, it is learnt.

Ashwani Kumar had gone to Mumbai two months ago after which he is learnt to have developed symptoms of depression. He has not mentioned anything in his four-para suicide note, except referring to his disease and wishing well to the family.

Kundu said Ashwani Kumar was an inspiration and a role model for many.

The note has not blamed anybody and referred to some disease. It says “he committed suicide at his free will and is embarking on journey after life, there should be no ceremony and rituals and he wished his family members a happy life”.

Ashwani Kumar had pledged his organs but that couldn’t be done due to the delay caused by legal proceedings and post-mortem. The family members were also not interested in donating the organs, it is learnt.

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