The sudden and untimely death of Mumbai supercop Himanshu Roy has left his colleagues sad, shocked and devastated while many in the film fraternity also expressed grief and offered condolences to the family.
Roy, who was a celebrated ADGP-rank police officer in Maharashtra police force ended his life on Friday using his service revolver at his Mumbai residence. A police statement issued after his death stated 'acute pain', depression and prolonged illness as the reason behind this step. A suicide note recovered from Roy's home also said that nobody should be held responsible for his death. Roy, the additional director general of police (Establishment), was rushed to Bombay Hospital where he was declared dead at 1.47 pm, an official said.
Reacting after the news of his death broke out, colleagues remembered him as 'brave' and 'enterprising' while prominent Mumbai residents also tweeted out their condolences terming Roy's death an irreparable loss to the state's police force.
Former Mumbai police commissioner MN Singh termed him a courageous and hardworking officer.
"He was suffering from cancer but he was fighting it. It is very unfortunate that he had to end his life like this," Singh told reporters after visiting Roy's family to express his condolences.
"Roy was a competent officer. He worked at the Crime Branch for three years and that posting shows he was highly rated. The job in the crime branch is very demanding. Roy held some very important positions in Mumbai Police force and it only goes on to show that he was very competent and hence were given these positions. Losing a young and competent officer like Roy in the prime of his life is very sad and tragic not just for his family but to the force that needs such able and competent officers," Singh told Firstpost.
"Roy was a very enterprising, dashing and resourceful person," former ACP Iqbal Sheikh said.
"Very shocking that he has gone. Prima facie, it appears that he took the extreme steps due to his illness," added a former colleague.
Speaking to Firstpost, D Sivanandhan, former police commissioner of Mumbai who was closely associated with Roy, said he was unable to believe that Roy had taken such a step.
"I haven’t been able to speak to anyone after hearing the news as it is not sinking in that Roy could commit suicide. I am shaken by this terrible news," a devastated Sivanandhan told Firstpost.
When Sivanandhan was the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, Roy was the joint commissioner of police.
"Roy’s office was on the second floor and mine on the first. Every day he would come to meet me and we spoke for some time. We also lived in the same building," he said.
It was Sivanandhan who asked Roy to set up the cyber crime cell in Mumbai. "He was a fine officer and very competent. We inaugurated the cyber crime cell in a big manner," he said.
Sivanandhan says that Roy came from a good family background. "He was a Mumbai boy who studied at Campion School and then went to St Xavier's College. He was from the 1988 batch of the IPS. Roy was very likeable. I remember him as a very good human being who was an upright officer," he said.
Once Roy came to know he was afflicted with cancer, he became a recluse, said Sivanandhan. He did not keep in touch with many from the force like he would earlier. "But I think this is what could happen when you battle cancer," he said.
Sivanandhan said that no one can be blamed for what Roy did as the pain from his illness must have driven him to do what he did. "It is shocking and a sad end to a brilliant officer," he said.
His doctor and family friend Gautam Bhansali said that Roy had lost much of his awe-inspiring physique to the illness. The super cop is remembered as a fitness freak due to his impressive over six feet in height, with rippling muscles. "Unfortunately he was brought dead to the hospital. I knew him personally, he had lost lots of weight due to illness and didn't have the same personality as earlier," Bhansali told ANI.
Another former police commissioner of Mumbai, Arup Patnaik, who was also closely associated with Roy was shocked at the turn of events.
Speaking exclusively to Firstpost, Patnaik, said, "I am shocked by the turn of events. This was completely unexpected." Patnaik said, "I found him very sharp, very polished, very sophisticated. He was a fitness freak. He was also very mature and a cool-headed person."
Roy, who was diagnosed with cancer, had been on medical leave since April 2016. Patnaik said he had been in touch with him, as he has been running the Konark Cancer Foundation after retiring from the police force.
"Roy had been suffering from cancer for the past three years. It was detected quite late when he noticed a swelling on his body. Later, the cancer spread to his bones. To his credit, he continued to work even then and only took leave in the past two years," Patnaik said.
Roy remained in constant touch with Patnaik, one of the few officers he was in contact with after his illness was diagnosed. "I was in touch with him, and in fact, he had asked me three months ago for a reference to get an expert opinion for his illness. I referred him to a doctor and it was after meeting with the doctor and doing check-ups that it was found the cancer had spread to his brain. The option was to go in for surgery, but I think Roy knew there wasn't much hope for him. That must be why I think he shot himself. This is my hunch. Of course, a police investigation will reveal the details as it was an unnatural death," the former city commissioner of police said.
It is foolish for people to expect that Roy would "fight" cancer just because he was a top cop. "What is there to fight a disease? Can it be fought? Can you fight a storm or an earthquake?" he asked. "Roy was in a lot of pain and took the extreme step," Patnaik said.</>
Patnaik said that when Roy met him three months ago, he said that he was in a lot of pain. "It is unbearable. Please pray for me," Roy had said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis put out an official statement condoling Roy's death while many other politicians also expressed shock.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 11, 2018
Shocked to learn about Himanshu Roy’s untimely passing. I would jokingly call him ‘Hercules Roy’ because of his overawing athletic build. Only recently, I messaged him to enquire about his health. He was a capable IPS officer & will be missed. May his soul rest in peace
— Milind Deora (@milinddeora) May 11, 2018
Actor Neel Nitin Mukesh, who was a family friend of Roy offered his condolence to the deceased IPS officer.
Extremely sad to hear about Former ATS chief #HimanshuRoy Knew him really well ever since I was a child. He Was very close to our family. Such a brave man he was. This news is shocking and extremely sad. My condolences to the family. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 — Neil Nitin Mukesh (@NeilNMukesh) May 11, 2018
Farhan Akhtar and Reitesh Deshmukh also expressed shock on his untimely death.
Saddened to hear of #HimanshuRoy committing suicide. Deepest condolences to his family and all his colleagues in the Police department.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) May 11, 2018
#HimanshuRoy no more. Is absolutely shocking & tragic. My deepest condolences to the family & his loved ones. Big loss to the @MumbaiPolice & Maharashtra state. — Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) May 11, 2018
Roy would have been 55 next month. He is survived by his wife Bhavna, a former IAS officer.
With inputs from Sulekha Nair
Updated Date: May 12, 2018 10:00 AM