Former CBI chief Ashwani Kumar found dead at Shimla residence, says police

Kumar, 69, a retired IPS officer from the Himachal Pradesh cadre, served as state DGP from 2006 to 2008. He was also governor of Nagaland and, briefly, of Manipur.

FP Staff October 07, 2020 21:57:29 IST
Former CBI chief Ashwani Kumar found dead at Shimla residence, says police

Former CBI chief Ashwani Kumar was found dead at his Shimla residence on Wednesday, according to several media reports.

ANI, quoting Shimla SP Mohit Chawla, reported that the late IPS officer was found hanging at his residence.

Speaking to The Tribune, Shimla SP Mohit Chawla, said that he was "sad and shocked" by the death as Kumar was a role model for police officers.

Kumar, 69, a retired IPS officer from the Himachal Pradesh cadre, served as state DGP from 2006 to 2008.

He also served as CBI director from August 2008 to November 2010.

He was governor of Nagaland and, briefly, of Manipur.

Sources told NDTV that Kumar had been depressed for several weeks.

A team of police officers, and one from Shimla's Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, have rushed to his home, as per NDTV.

The 69-year-old, survived by his wife and son, is remembered by his former colleagues and even the present officers as a perfect soft-spoken gentleman who always wore a graceful smile.

Kumar, a 1973-batch IPS officer, was a surprise announcement for the post of the CBI director in August 2008 when two other names, of those senior to him, were doing the rounds for the prestigious posting. This was the time when the agency was grappling with controversies surrounding the infamous Aarushi murder case of Noida.

"I like Tom and Jerry cartoon show. Police is like the cat while the criminals are like mice. So Tom never leaves Jerry," Kumar had said in an interview to PTI in 2008 after taking over as the CBI director. "I am in the game of Tom and Jerry and I have to do my job," he had said.

Kumar had expressed his displeasure over the probe into the Aarushi murder case and had taken upon himself to take it to a logical conclusion. "This case is a litmus test for me. I need to know who killed Aarushi, parents or someone else. I feel agitated within over this case," he had commented.

During his tenure, a closure report had been prepared which later formed the basis of arrest and conviction of Aarushi's parents. Both the parents are now out on bail and the case is being heard in higher courts.

Kumar, a recipient of the President's Police medal for meritorious and distinguished services, had served as joint director (north) and additional director (anti-corruption) in the CBI. Besides, he had a stint in the Special Protection Group.

"A man of integrity and honesty who was always smiling in tiring conditions. I am shocked," recalls former CBI director PC Sharma. Kumar served under him as the joint director (policy), a post within the CBI which is a bridge between the government and the agency.

During his stint as the CBI director, Kumar laid a special focus on the growing economic offences and roped in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to help the agency in probing white collar crimes.

Hailing from the small town of Nahan in Himachal Pradesh, Kumar after becoming the director general of police of his home state had ordered removal of all barriers and check posts which used to cause long traffic jams.

In 2013, the then UPA government appointed him as Governor of Nagaland, a post from which he tendered his resignation after the BJP-led NDA government came to power in 2014. He was the first CBI director to have been appointed to the post of governor as he was considered close to the then power corridors.

An avid lover of devotional music and ghazals, Kumar had taken to academics and was teaching for sometime at the OP Jindal University in Haryana.

With inputs from agencies

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