Squadron Leader (retd) Baldev Singh, director for corporate planning and marketing at state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) committed suicide at Nandi Hills, about 50 km from Bangalore, police said on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old Baldev Singh "was found hanging by a tree around noon by passersby near Mirza Circle on the way to Nandi Hills and alerted us," Chickballapur Rural Deputy Superintendent of Police S Chelvaraj told IANS.
"We lowered the body from the tree and identified him to be Baldev Singh of HAL from the credit and debit cards he was carrying in pocket," he said.
Confirming the tragic death of the company’s former chief test pilot and executive director of flight operations, HAL chairman Ashok Nayak said it was too early to say what forced him to take such the extreme step.
"I have no details on what led him to do this, as I am in Delhi. He has been very good at work and I have known him for long as he was our chief test pilot and executive director of flight operations. It is very unfortunate and a great loss to us as he was recently appointed director," Nayak told IANS.
According to the first information report (FIR) filed by police, Baldev Singh left home around 9 am in the official car and told his driver Rajesh to go to the Bangalore international airport at Devanahalli.
"At a flyover, he told the driver to alight and wait for him and drove the car himself towards Nandi hills saying he had to pick up a friend on the way. When there was no sign of Baldev Singh or response from him till noon, a worried driver reported the matter to the corporate office," Chelvaraj said, quoting from the FIR.
In what appeared to be a pre-meditate move, Baldev Singh took away the driver’s mobile handset saying his phone was not working and asked him to wait near the flyover till he returned.
“On receiving a call from HAL office about one of their directors (Baldev Singh) missing in the area, we sent a wireless message to all the police stations in our jurisdiction and rushed a search party to Nandi hills,” Chelvarj said.
Baldev Singh leaves behind his wife Vibhu and two sons Mohit Singh and Nimit Singh. Mohit lives in Singapore and Nimit in the US. His wife has been ailing for some time.